Shadows Over London is the first book in the Empire of the House of Thorns series by Christian Klaver. This first novel introduces Justice Kasric and her family as they are violently torn from their pleasant lives in Victorian London and tossed into a paranormal war against the Faerie. As if finding out her family is attached to supernatural creatures is not enough, Justice still has to cope with internal family struggles, sibling rivalry, and a mother who downright dislikes her. These are all painfully relatable issues for anyone who is, or was ever, a teenager.
Shadows Over London, like many books in the young adult genre, follows a teenager through the trials of life and the even greater conflicts they find themselves buried. Christain Klaver does a fantastic job of balancing the complications of being a sixteen-year-old girl with the epic war story that builds up around Justice. She and all the characters of this novel are realistic in their behavior and actions, making them solid and believable characters with personalities. The world that our author has built is also fantastic. While Victorian London is well documented, the bits and pieces of Faerie, the fictional side of the war in this series, are creative and colorful and have a delicate balance of common myths and original creations.
As I was given a copy of the audiobook of Shadows Over London to listen, I will take a moment to cover that aspect. Fiona Hardingham’s reading is spectacular. A talented narrator Fiona Hardingham gives us a well spoked and brilliantly acted narration. Each character has a voice that fits perfectly. The narrator’s voice and accent are spot-on for the characters and locations of this novel. In short, I can’t find a single complaint about Shadows Over London and suggest you pick it up.