War has come to the Amaranthine world, and Jorick and Katelina are caught up in the middle of it. A group claiming to be Children of Shadows is bombing vampire strongholds, while another secret organization claims to oppose them. After being held against their will in Munich, Jorick and Katelina escape only to find themselves plunged into intrigue and danger. They're swept along from continent to continent, intent on getting to the bottom of who is leading the Children of Shadows. Is Malick the ring-leader, or is the newly awakened Samael the one who resurrected the evil group? And, most importantly, who keeps invading Katelina's thoughts and dreams?
I know I keep saying each book is the best one yet, but that's because each book gets better and better. Children of Shadows is a very strong sixth book in the series, a book that sets up the series for the most exciting plot-line yet. This book centers around Cyprus, Malick, and Samael--three dangerous vampires with their own unique goals. Cyprus is focused on revenge, while Malick craves turmoil and power. Samael's ultimate goals are unknown to Jorick and Katelina, and this makes him the most dangerous adversary of all. While forces within Katelina drives her to greater strength and bravery, she is probably the most vulnerable she's been throughout the series.
One of my favorite aspects of this book was the underlying fear inspired by Samael who is always on the periphery of Katelina's thoughts and fears. There are hints that Katelina isn't quite the same since she consumed the ancient vampire's blood at the end of book five, but even Jorick and Verchiel can't quite figure out the ultimate effects.
In terms of character development, this book has a lot going on. Katelina's relationship with the other characters evolves, particularly with Sadhira, Loren, Oren, Etsuko, and even Torina. Even the more prickly of her vampire companions (Micah) has grudging respect for her, as she's proven herself in more ways than one. There's a great scene with Loren and Micah where Katelina shows her devotion and love for the vampires who have been a part of her life.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, just like I've enjoyed the entire series. The author's talent in creating this detailed world and tying multiple characters and plot lines together is astounding. If you're looking for a series to fall in love with, this is it. With six full-length books, several short story collections, and a blog dedicated to the series, being an Amaranthine fan is truly an experience. I can't wait for book seven!
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)