TRACING SHADOWS (Scout #1) by Alex Lidell #Review

by Alex Lidell
Date Published: 04.08.18
Amazon  |   Book Depository

From Goodreads:
To protect the throne, seventeen-year-old spy Kali must play a male guardsman trainee by day and royal lady by night.

Orphaned and trained on a spymaster’s remote estate, Kali is a scout who works alone in the shadows. But when a terror group threatens the Dansil throne, the king forces Kali to accept a mission at the palace or forfeit her sister’s life.

Suddenly thrust into the light, Kali must infiltrate high society as the royal Lady Lianna while penetrating the servant ranks as Kal, a male guardsman trainee. It doesn’t help that Trace, the harsh and enigmatic captain of the king’s guard, is soon assigned as both Lady Lianna’s palace escort and Kal’s commanding officer.

As Kali edges closer to the truth behind the violent group’s identity, she uncovers dangerous secrets that could bring her mission to a brutal end.
A scout’s job is to observe and report, never to engage... but if it means saving her sister and kingdom, Kali may have no choice.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars 

That's it?!!
Oh my gods. What is with that ending?! I was so furious I just kept scrolling praying BEGGING that that wasn't the end. How can anyone expect me to wait months MONTHS before I know what happens next. This is torture. TORTURE.

And now that that's out of the way...

Tracing Shadows is the first installment to Alex Lidell's newest duology. I admit I wasn't as sold with the premise of this as much as I was with the Tides series but I figured why not give it a shot?

I was honestly lost at the beginning of the book. I had no idea what the heck was up with the Viva Sylthia and the magic and Dansil and whatnot. The worldbuilding was shaky at times and I wish I didn't feel so confused (but maybe that's mostly me and not the author so yeah). Fortunately, the further the story went the better it got. Too bad it took quite a long while for the pace to pick up. The first part was a bit boring and I didn't really care for Violet's chapters. I didn't feel like it added much to the story. (Hopefully that would be remedied in book two?)

Now Kali I really liked. Sure there were times that her supposed greatness was more telling than showing but I admired her loyalty, selflessness and strength. She's very protective of Leaf and having two sisters of my own, I know how that bond can be the most precious thing one can have. I'm not sure which personality of Kali I like more but I hope she's done being a spy because honestly I don't think she was that good at it. (Sorry!)

The minor characters were likable enough. Some of them I didn't really care for (sorry Wil) and some I hope would be more present in the sequel (Luca seemed like an awesome character and Princess Raza just intrigues me).
Yes there was romance. It wasn't much but what little there was I really liked. And knowing Kali I think the romance would be the most fun to watch unfold.

Looking forward to book two!

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