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Court of Shadows: A Demons of Fire and Night Novel

Institute of the Shadow Fae, Book 1
Narrated by: Amanda Dolan
Series: Institute of the Shadow Fae, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Summary

A girls' night out means three things to me: drinking whiskey with my best friend, trying not to kill anyone, and keeping my magic hidden. A fae gladiator like me isn’t supposed to exist anymore.

But my Friday night takes a bad turn when a lethally gorgeous fae - Ruadan - tries to assassinate me. He's known as the Wraith, and he's taken a vow of silence until he’s slaughtered the outlaws on his kill list. Outlaws like me.

Ruadan lets me live on one condition: I have to earn my place at the Institute of the Shadow Fae. As a powerful fighter, I can take the competition.

But things fall apart when I’m given an impossible choice: Betray my mentor Ruadan or my best friend dies. Now, I face a quandary my gladiatorial past did not prepare me for.

This book is from the Demons of Fire and Night world.

©2018 Christine Mancuso (P)2018 Christine Mancuso

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good

Good read enjoyed listening to the story and looking forward to the next one in the series

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I got into the book more as it went on

I much prefer the Dark Fae FBI series by the same author to this one, but this book was decent. I was unsure about it for a while and it teetered on being 3 stars, but it improved as it went on and I found the world building interesting. I look forward to getting the next book in the series.

I think the narrator is why I struggled to get into it at first. Being British myself I found the accent distracting as it was obvious the narrator was putting the accent on. Most of the time she was spot on, but then would say some words very strangely, like “glatiator” instead of “gladiator”. She was mostly good though.

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    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

I loved this book...my first ever audible book...the story was great, the characters so very real...I couldn't believe it when it finished...I could have carried on listening for a lot longer!!!

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  • Ashley Bullock
  • 25-11-18

Love it!

I have loved all the books in the Demons of Fire and Night world. I love how the authors always have crossover in these books. My one irk, is that Bael and Cain both crossed over into this book as well and their voices were so light/higher pitched then they were in the audio versions of their book series. I have listen to both the vampire mage series and they were pretty different. But this is strictly my own pet peeve and doesn’t take away from the story at all. Still loved it!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike Hickox
  • 27-11-18

Fun bool

Great book.Can't wait for more books to.come.out.I'n. this series would.love to here.more about the queen the brought back from that other realm.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Twilla S. Stacy
  • 12-05-20

Has it all

Just finished the 1st book in this series. It has it all! The story is great, the narrator is amazing. And it has characters you root for, as well as that edge that makes you yell out loud, "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?"

I now have to go get Book 2!

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  • Common-Sense-Is-Key
  • 15-12-19

Enjoyable but series not fully on Audible

I'm a little over halfway through this book & I typically buy the next book, around this time, so it's ready to go. There's only 1 more Audible book out right now. Since I rarely read a series before all books are out, I'm stopping now so I don't get too invested & potentially be let down by waiting too long (then I forget to check back lol).

Now the content.....
I gave 5 stars as my pessimism towards this series may be wrong....The real action & story advancement occurs fairly early; which could be a good or a bad thing. I'm concerned that the main arc will come too quick & leave an unsatisfied feeling; so I decided to read the summaries for the remaining books in Goodreads (the below Spoiler section gives an analogy on how that went).

Only being halfway through, I see potential for this series. It has a different perspective of supers & how they operate; which is refreshing & concerning (as any unconventional narrative needs solid details to bring the world to life).

I just don't know if I'll continue, as I feel torn. The summaries for the other books concerns me, in that this series will only build suspense & action surrounding the main arc & consistently circle back even after the main conflict was resolved.
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**** SOME SPOILERS ABOUT THE STORYLINE ***
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The storyline revolves around a protection organization, with a twist, that gives rogue supers an option -- become a recruit or be executed. Recruits can be killed at any time, for any reason, & are commonly "weeded out" during trials. The twist is that you don't initially know if the organization is on the "good side" or an elite mafia-style group. Because the main character states that the town's people are kept safe through paying tithes to the organization. Yet, since supers are not allowed to be openly roaming, who exactly are people being protected from? But many supers fear the organization & gave them an underground, snarky nickname. That's because when people call them to report an illegal super, that super is usually eliminated. The first rule of the super club....

The Goodreads summaries, for the remaining books, have me debating if I'll continue. The summaries seem like the last few hills of a rollercoaster before the ride ends. They read like the low momentum thrills after the biggest drop occurs at the ride's beginning. This 1st book seems like the 1st drop & the remaining are made of a loop (for gaining some suspense in book 2 that just circles back to normal) & low momentum hills for the rest (for dragging the main arc from book 1 into surprise moments), before it all ends & leaves you only remembering the fun of that initial drop.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Terri&Tracey
  • 29-10-19

Yay

I finally found the book !! I’ve red so many books that I’m always on the search to find the one and it’s a constant battle to find one I haven’t read before that’s the bomb. At first I was on the fence about reading this one because of the cover and the “school” thing usually the animated covers are boring and cliche and our never original and school books are so juvenile and seem to be more for young adults. But everything was what I wanted a maybe relationship with someone that you would never expect to even like someone and action and kept me wanted to read instead of feeling like a chore where I just needed to read it and get it over with to find any other one. I love the heroine to she so kickass cute with her personality. I love how the romance is not completely finished by book one, where it boring in the rest of the series I can’t wait to read the next book.!!!!!

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  • Witch-at-Heart
  • 05-04-19

Awesome Read and an Even Better Listen!!!!



I have to say I read a ton of books and I definitely have favorite authors!!!  With that said, I have loved every book I have read by C.N. Crawford I literally could not put this one down.

The plot and sub-stories, the questions leaving me with the desire to explore the rest of the series, the chemistry of the characters... Court of Shadows is full of oh my goodness moments leaving me with the desire to learn more.

I do also want to say this review in particular is about the Audible version.

This book is just a fantastic listen. One of the funniest books I have heard in a long time. It just comes to life and the accent so fun.

The narrator Amanda Dolan was excellent. Simply a perfect choice. Trust me when I say listening to this book takes it to an entirely new level (it's one thing to know the characters have accents as you read but trust me you are going to love hearing it out loud!!!).

To give you an idea of the wit and banter I am going to share some random spoilers in no particular order so honestly you will have to read/listen to the book to find out what really going on in this fantastic world.

I usually don’t do this so forgive me if I take anything out of context or paraphrase. I want to give you a hint not the entire storyline.

The description of a bar kerfuffle with a hipster vampire Ha-ha loved it!!!

In addition, you gotta love a recruiting speech that includes:
You will compete with the other novices and probably die.
Your entire existence serves no purpose.
You’re being given a chance at greatness instead of living like an animal.

Just hysterical. I loved the response Arianna gives as she ponders her options and the friends she finds along the way.

Melusine is a capable but lonely character and was very endearing. I loved the vulnerable moment when she tells Arianna “I'm not good with people not even broom people”. “At least three of them hated me and I could never get then to eat the cake… We both have a lot to lose”. I loved the alliance formed (as two competitors bonded) when they had no reason to help or trust each other.

Arianna is a believable main character as she fights to hide her past as gladiator, conquer her fears, and survive. She meets each challenge with the skill of the warrior she is and learns to navigate a strange and questionable future.

Maddan ugh such a troll. He is despicable but fascinating because his lack of empathy and feelings towards others, and the overwhelming sense of self-entitlement is very Machiavellian.  So yes, I hate him but I also cannot wait to see what he does next.

Ruadan is dauntingly menacing and yet caring towards Arianna as he tries to help her survive (or cause her impending death she isn’t sure). It is amazing to realize you like a character and want to understand their motives when the character doesn’t event talk,  the ability to convey his moods and allure with body stance, brooding, and not so subtle displays of powers is some masterful writing and I want to learn more.

I was drawn in by this character despite his radio silence mode  : )

Ok so that is really just a small hint of the awesome characters and well almost no real in-depth examination on the plot. Why you may ask? Well because I want you to be curious enough to check it out and read/listen to the series!!! I promise you will not be disappointed.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-01-19

Good read

I'm fast becoming a fan of this author, great imagination and wit love the strong female caricature with a mistiry and the development of the romance is not overmuch I like some heat but not every other seen, can't wait till the next in the series becomes available

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  • M. Grasso
  • 03-12-18

Narration was great!

This audiobook was so fun to listen to. The narration was great! The storyline was intriguing and full of rich and complex characters. I loved the backstory on Arianna and the complex relationship she has with Ruadan. Definitely worth listening to!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-11-18

Please, get book number 2

Loved it, great story and narration. Where is the second book Audible?

Sincerely, a new fan.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer K.
  • 21-11-18

Exciting

Enjoyed this book from the start. The action. The strong characters. The underlying puzzle to figure out. Can’t wait to see where this story goes.