My dear bookish friends!
What would you do if you were in the possession of an item that holds great power, an item that maybe even grants immortality, but it sent evil demon lords after you? Well, that is what the main character in Shadow-Stained is faced with. I absolutely loved the premise and the story itself did not disappoint either, so big thank you to Dave at TheWriteReads for my spot on this tour, as well as to the author, Rachel Hobbs, for my ecopy of the book! Keep on reading for more info on the story, as well as for my detailed review.
For her, it’s her late grandma’s legacy. For him, the mother of all black arts spoils, granting one demon the power of a God. Immortality.
When occult-magnet Ruby falls victim to Demon Lord Drayvex’s viperous allure, she loses a sentient dark relic to his light fingers and appetite for power. Like calls to like. But when Drayvex himself loses the relic to a traitor to the throne, Ruby coerces him – the tyrant king with a soft spot for humanity – into helping her save her pokey old world village from becoming a ground zero of mass demonic carnage.
Both invested in reclaiming the relic, the one thing Ruby and Drayvex agree on is that it’s in the wrong hands. Co-existing in a precarious arrangement between predator and prey, to save the planet they both love for different reasons, they must become a formidable double-team in the face of an apocalyptic takeover. Now, the fate of both human and demon alike rests with a killer that walks between worlds, and a woman with a curse in her bloodline.
Oh my god, what a book! I loved this dark fantasy debut and highly recommend it to fans of the genre! We are thrown into the story and meet Demon Lord Drayvex in his terrifyingly handsome human form; soon after follows our mc Ruby – a city girl living the country life. The duo couldn’t be more different, and yet I absolutely loved reading about them – especially their snarky banter.
Ruby’s necklace that has been given to her by her grandmother before her death appears to be attracting dark entities – first, in the form of that handsome Demon Lord standing in front of her and shamelessly flirting with her, but he is not the only one thirsting for the power of the stone. It is, after all, granting the owner immortality. There’s more to Drayvex than meets the eye though, and soon, there isn’t only a hellish battle happening on Earth, but Ruby is also faced with a very difficult decision.
I absolutely loved the descriptions of the demonic world. I would love to see movie-makers trying to capture the eerie beauty of the crystal mountains, the red sands and stars, and wow – that throne! My imagination was running wild and I wasn’t unhappy with the picture it painted!
Ruby is an interesting character, but I was hoping she was a bit more fleshed out. She was rather defenseless and clueless most of the time, and as cool as it was that she wanted to fight the bad guys, Drayvex ended up having to do most of the work as well as save her from dying numerous times. We learn that Ruby has some kind of connection to occult objects, but we never really find out what exactly is going on there – something I would have loved to find out more about!
Drayvex is a proper demon lord. He is hunting for the necklace that holds so much power, but when he then meets the owner of said object, Drayvex’s resolution starts to waver – a little bit. He might be attracted to Ruby, but he still is an evil and very dangerous demon, and that won’t change anytime soon. He is a snarky smart-ass (excuse my French!!), he doesn’t have a real conscience, and yet… and yet. I was rooting for him and couldn’t get enough of Drayvex! I haven’t watched the show Lucifer (yet), but that’s kind of what I imagined Drayvex to be like lol.
I have to be honest – I was expecting more of a paranormal romance – given the cover and the way the story starts off, but it didn’t quite go in that direction. However, the mere hint of what could be coming, what the two might be feeling is there, and that tease was enough to keep me glued to the page. I can’t wait to read part 2 of the series!!
If you are a fan of dark fantasies, love to read about snarky, evil bad boy characters that might possibly not be bad, love imaginative and fascinating fantasy worlds, are fascinates by demons and other dark beings, then this entertaining and captivating debut is for you. Shadow Stained will keep you hooked from start to finish!
4 stars from me!
Thank you all so much for reading!
About the Author
Rachel Hobbs lives in soggy South West Wales, where she hibernates with with her bearded dragon and her husband. By day she is a dental nurse at a small local practice. By night, she writes.
Her debut novel SHADOW-STAINED is the first in a dark fantasy series for adults, inspired by her dark and peculiar experiences with narcolepsy and parasomnia. She’s since subjugated her demons, and writes under the tenuous guise that they work for her.
Fuelled by an unhealthy amount of coffee, she writes about hard-boiled monsters with soft centres and things that go bump in the night.