The Shadow (The Florentine #2)

Good evening, all! Happy Monday! Thank goodness it’s almost over. It’s been a long day on my end and all I have wanted to do since I woke up this morning, was to relax and review a book for every single one of you. Thankfully, my night has begun to wind down so I can do just that…. so, hooray! It’s about time, because I am absolutely chomping at the bit to get this latest read out to everyone! Sylvain Reynard has released his newest book, so needless to say, I’ve been fingerling since my copy of The Shadow arrived in the mail the other day. Instead of going crazy with being formal and doing any sort of editing, Im’ going to just jump in and gush over these pages. I’ve been awake since 6am, so just bear with me. Shall we?

Are any of us really shocked that Reynard has come up with another dazzling installment to his series? I’m definitely not! The Shadow is book two (technically three) in his Florentine series. You can read my earlier review of his novella, The Prince, and book one, The Raven, here.

I know I talk about this author and his books to death, but they’re stunning (honestly, I can’t praise any of these stories enough)! I first encountered Reynard’s work when I discovered his Gabriel series. I read that trilogy two or three years ago and have yet to meet a love story I adored more. I give them a re-read as often as I can, and it’s just and gorgeous a story the fourth time as it was the first. The Florentine series is a spinoff and continuation of his original trilogy, only Sylvain takes it to another level. Not a surprise, but it’s just as enchanting as all the other prior installments. To start at the beginning, check out books one through three of the Gabriel series. You can read my review here.

As the girl who can swear she has not met a vampire novel she’s actually liked to date (I honestly don’t even read them… Twilight scarred me enough), I can honestly say, this series is the exception and you must give it a go! I know these stories began as Twilight fan fiction, so even approaching the Gabriel series, I was hesitant, but it really morphed into its own tale. The Florentine series delves into the shadows that lurk the streets of Florence at night, but unlike most vampire stories, these beings are not only ancient, but also magical and majestic. 
Combining romance, thrill, mystery, fantasy, history, culture, and danger that spans across the globe and centuries as well, The Shadow is a roller coaster of a ride and fantastic continuation of The Raven, and our newest swoony book boyfriend, William York. 
Raven and William are learning the ropes of their alluring feelings to one another, but with her being a human, and him being something other worldly, they face their fair share of challenges. 

Not only are they approaching the unknowns of their relationship with caution, but trouble seems to be lurking around every corner trying to tear them apart. The police are investigating Raven for the theft of priceless Dante pieces that have gone missing from the Ufizzi, William must face a traitor among his own kind which could mean the end of his people, Raven’s abusive step father is back in the picture, and an order of Jesuit priests (known as The Curia) are trying to steal Raven from William and separate the lovers for good. 

Speaking of Dante, our beloved professor from the Gabriel series, Mr. Emerson, and his beloved Julianne make return cameos. Although they weren’t as prominent as they were in book one (there’s no such thing as “too much” when it comes to the professor, so on this front, I was a bit gloomy), I still adored getting more time with the Emersons and their growing family, even if it was just a sliver of an update. 
William York may be the epitome of darkness, but Raven sees his internal light, and so do I. I can’t help but take his side and hope everything turns out for the best for these two! 

PS- the bonus bit with Gabriel & Julia in the end had me fangirling like no other! At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but letting it fester in my brain a bit after I had shut the book and gone to bed had me thinking my darling professor just got a million times hotter (which I didn’t know was possible)! 
My Final Rating: five out of five stars

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