Note: This ebook was provided by Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
Tournament of Shadows was a much-appreciated change of pace in my reading and introduced me to an obviously talented author, S.A. Meade. Set in 1842 in Uzbekistan, a holy man named Rashid and a Russian named Yakolev cross paths. From the onset, there is wariness but also curiosity, both of which lead to an uneasy comfortableness that has them traveling together on their way to Bukhara. Both Rashid and Yakolev, however, have their cache of secrets, not least of which is their respective reasons for heading into Bukhara. Rashid is actually Captain Gabriel O'Riordan, a member of the King's 8th Royal Irish Hussars, and his unexpected traveling companion is Valentin Yakolev, a Russian Army officer. When they part ways, they don't expect to see each other again, but fate and necessity demand that they do. They've been set on individual missions with no real chance for success. With threats to their lives and safety, they travel on a new journey to freedom from responsibility, but will their pasts change their course yet again?
This was a well-crafted tale of intrigue and espionage, with a fair amount of romance between Gabriel and Valentin to satisfy the romance reader in me. Of course, even without the romance, this story would have stood out, what with its creativity and quality of writing. Gabriel and Valentin are different yet also similar. They're coming together was really an act of destiny and they are forced to choose to trust one another even in the face of some pretty damning things from the past that are bared in the glaring light of the present. The author was able to give readers a story and characters that tickle their imagination while also delving in a bit of history stemmed in the First Anglo-Afghan War. This had me Googling and going through the books in our home library to learn more about what happened in Afghanistan between the British and Russian forces. I do like it when a story inspires me to do that. All in all, Tournaments of Shadows was a pleasant surprise, and I really did enjoy Gabriel and Valentin's story. This gets Four stars. ♥
Date Read: 09 September 2016
Learn more about S.A. Meade.