A Tale of Stars and Shadow

A Tale of Stars and Shadow

Finalist for the 2020 ACT Writers Fiction award

A 2019 SPFBO finalist

Tale of stars and shadow by Lisa Cassidy
A Prince of Song and Shade by Lisa Cassidy
King Of Masks & Magic by Lisa Cassidy
A Duet of Sword & Song by Lisa Cassidy
January 2, 2022

Initially the writing style felt obviously self published but the story telling then took over. Compelled to devour an interesting world of intrigue and cultural mores with characters worth investing in I am looking forward to the next book.

December 31, 2021

Well written, strong and believable heroine, great character development, and good pacing. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the second.

December 19, 2021

An epic journey with twists, turns, battles and will power. The characters couldn’t be more perfectly depicted, the action is intense and the hope for a better world leaps off the pages. Please please please let there be another series of books

December 3, 2021

Enjoyed the team building and wolf pack. Main character strengths and internal struggles. The end was so unpredictable with a unexpected twist! On to book two..can’t wait

November 24, 2021

If Wheel of Time caught their attention, then this book should too. I was looking for an empire\city based, low magic, gritty and personal series of books. Oh, and thieves. I wanted some thieves. Because real life struggles are often best found at their doors I got all this and more. Love the world, the empires, the people, the magic, the lead character. Yip, yip! The only gripe as a world builder I had was, what happened to all the masons, the quarries, the spoil heaps?

Julie de Gruy
November 22, 2021

Once the plot was established, it was hard to put the book down. Talyn and her Wolves fighting the good fight.

November 20, 2021

If you are after a masterful tale with lots of twists and turns and something for everyone, look no further, you have found it. Take a journey with loveable and complex characters as they heal from past wounds to make a better future.

November 5, 2021

Good read, a few slow places but I felt her emotions And really enjoyed the characters. Would read again too

Sandy Curtis
November 1, 2021

Loved the characters and how they all merged. Theres were quite a few exciting twists and turns in the plot that made it hard for me to put the book down. You've created a world I'd like to visit. Thanks for a great series.

Ashlie Steinbach
October 16, 2021

Are you the kind of reader who wants to read a book that does more than tell a story? A book that makes you want to know the characters? One that keeps you guessing but also gets you thinking like the characters? Are you a reader who wants to be lost in the world you are reading about? If so, this series is for you. From characters with carefully designs backgrounds to a world so well constructed you BELIEVE it exist, A Tale of Stars and Shadow draws you in an doesn't let you go! (I would also recommend Lisa Cassidy's other series, The Mage Chronicles.)

October 15, 2021

A brilliant fantasy series that kept me entertained and eager for more Would definitely recommend to all Keep writing Lisa

Five stars for great plot, astonishing female lead. And great attention to grammar etc. made this a really great read. I am a 71 year old child. Who in the great ethereal hinterland that is the '. net' decides the age constraints should be soundly spoken to. Thank. You

September 9, 2021

This series is surprisingly refreshing and different with well developed characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.

Laurie Bell
August 2, 2021

It is a joy to read a book that makes full use of the English language to evoke emotion and stir a passion for life. With rich language skills, a fantastic character driven story I could not put this down. Maybe one in twenty books is worth the time and emotion spent through the story line to read and to want to keep a permanent copy and even read again. Lisa Cassidy is an author to follow and keep! Off to her next book in the series.

Maja Tracey-Stone
July 30, 2021

Devoured the full series in one sitting. Fantasy, magic and romance driven by a great plot line filled with complex connections and familial entwining. Love it when I do not have to wait years to follow characters who’s lives reach out compelling me to finish their tale.

July 8, 2021

Politics, magic, wings, subterfuge, Robin Hood-tropes, various characters’ POV, this book has all of these and more. Complex characters who grow and develop as the story continues (with some pausing for self-reflection too!) The world building was strong and the descriptions vivid. The caste system was also well done and something I hope is explored more in the next books in the series. This book sets the stage for several more books in the series and I’m looking forward to reading them all.

J.B. Sandersen
July 5, 2021

What a fascinating universe! I loved the depth of conflict depicted in the story, not all is as it seems. I was very shocked by the ending. I admit to being a rough start into the book. I felt like I missed the first book, and if I didn't there is definitely room for a prequel. I was left wondering what happened to Tal for much of the book but maybe that was the intention, but I wasn't a huge fan of that part, Very pivotal to Tal as a character. I can't wait for the next adventure!

Kindle Customer
June 6, 2021

Cassidy does a phenomenal job creating and establishing a fantasy world in this novel that is unique but still easily understandable. She truly takes her time fleshing it out and making sure the reader can recreate it in his/her mind. I could easily see this turned into a TV show adaption from that angle. This story primarily focuses on the main character's character development Tayln is suffering from grief and trying to figure out how to move on with her life, find something to hang out to. Her palpable sense of loss is heartbreaking but critical to who she is. Her trying to move on, while training an unlikely group of men to fulfill orders to guard a prince, is the driving force of this novel rather than a specific plot point. That does make this read intentionally slow and I'm not sure the true main plot of the story has been revealed yet. Hence why I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5. Bottom line: this novel sets up the beginning of what I feel like will mean amazing series and I think the subsequent books will be better as the plot pick up. This laid solid groundwork and I'm excited to see where it goes.

Evelyn Puerto
May 27, 2021

It took me a little to get into this story, partly because the world the author is so complex. But once I got interested in the protagonist and her fate, I never looked back. So many of the characters were memorable. This one kept me up late at night. Then I got to the stunning twist at the end and promptly bought the next one.

Very enjoyable book even though there were parts that seemed to drag a bit and I guessed the plot twist early on. I can't wait to dive into the next one to see what happens next with the Captain!

May 5, 2021

I read a lot and this series has brought me into the world being created. While reading I found I fought myself to put it down. I found hints of what was to come but could not link them all together. That is rare for me. I have enjoyed each book in this series and am looking forward to the next book

April 20, 2021

The ending.... was so unexpected i almost had a hear attack !! But it was such a good ending that makes me want to continue binge reading this series... ugh i am such a bookaholic and this series is totally hitting the spot!!! I love how Talyn’s character progressess and blooms into a confident warrior leading soldiers into battle!! badass? for sure Warrior? For sure A little anticipation of romance? Aaaa yesss ( the tension i felt was THERE and i hope 🤞 i wasn’t imaging it and will see it later in the series) Action? Duh Originality? No question. Read it. Like for real. Don’t bother reading comments just go click buy.... you wont regret. (Although it does kinda start off slow and confusing, everything starts to make sense and add up as you keep going)

Kindle Customer
April 15, 2021

I love a book where you know and care about more than just the main character. I loved each of the characters and the fact that I couldn't figure out the intrigue. Immediately going for Book Two. Paced just right. After years and years of reading you feel like everything has been done before. This was a great new world!

April 12, 2021

Glad I stumbled upon this book. It’s a good read, a little slow and by that I mean I didn’t really see what the problem was but it’s building and coming together.

April 7, 2021

It's been a while since I found books that took me by the neck and wouldn't let go. Complex characters, strong people all around. I'd love to have a drink with this lot if they were real people. It's the series I needed to read during these tough times. Thought provoking and brought me hope. I enjoyed these books so much I didn't mind the occasional miraculous rescue. 😉 Looking forward to reading more of this author's work.

Ed A
April 6, 2021

A slow start IMHO, but it picked up. I couldn’t put the book down as the characters and world became more real. Looking forward to the sequel.

April 1, 2021

I borrowed all four books with my Kindle Unlimited subscription and I was never so glad that I have that subscription when I picked up this gem. I circled back to write this review after finishing Book 4 because I know that most people will want to know if it's worth committing the time and/or money into four, decent sized books. It is. I am grateful that I picked these up when they were all published. I would have punched a wall (or at least a pillow) if I had to wait for a single one. After many lost hours of sleep reading these books into the wee hours of the morning (and suffering the next day at work) I came away with these main reasons why I couldn't put this story down (WILL TRY HARD NOT TO SPOIL BUT READ WITH CAUTION) STRONG HEROINE I genuinely liked the the heroine. I can't always say that with fantasy novels. Some them come across as being too teenage angsty, some of them are complete Mary Sues, some are so indecisive you just want to slap them, and some are just plain stupid with decisions (like you should Never hand them the keys to anything). The heroine is a combination of being OP and making questionable choices but she is flawed when we meet her. Probably would have really helped if she had some therapy before taking up this next assignment, but she puts on a face to hide the devastation in her soul from losing someone precious to her. Sure, she's a member of a very powerful family and technically a princess, but being part of a court is nothing she really wanted. She is the combination of a spy and a warrior and she is VERY good at her job. I like her sarcastic wit and her sassy comments and I also appreciate the rawness of her inner pain, fearing she can't ever be whole again because she's too damaged to be the warrior she was born to be. AWESOME CAST OF CHARACTERS From the ragtag bunch of misfits the heroine whips into the most deadly force Mithranar has seen (think The Dirty Dozen) the heroine inspires hearts and loyalty in the country she finds herself in on assignment. Through all the people she meets, she gains something back, a lesson she learns so she can put herself back together again and dare to live. The side characters grow on you. A lot. Be prepared for the possibility that maybe not all of them come out of this adventure unscathed. I recommend a tissue box. CLEVER VILLAINS Halfway through this book I realized who the 2-3 Big Bads were, but I wanted to see what they had planned and that spurred me on to finish the book. Sometimes the challenges were so immense you wondered how the hero and the heroine would get out of it, but obviously, they would not perish though it is touch and go sometimes. The internal faith and strength the hero and heroine both have to rally themselves is pretty inspiring. RICH WORLD I really want to sit at Pietro's cafe and sip khavi while watching a Mithranan sunset. Mithranar is a beautiful, mysterious world of magic and winged folk where winged lords rule over the oppressed human populace. Humans are second citizens in this rather racist country and the porosity of the nobles is thick and ingrained. Their minds would blow if they realize that humans carry magic too. They are closed minded isolationists who rely on marriage alliances to keep them safe. The Queen has three sons, unheard of in their history, and she fears a bloody fight for the crown is imminent when her health begins to fade. Slavery exists in the powerful country to the west, and Mithranar must keep the precarious balance to hold them at bay. So it's a puzzle when a country in the south, the Twin Thrones ruled by the powerful Dumnorix family (the heroine's family), sends a human kingshield warrior to train a group to protect the queen's youngest son. It's amid this political intrigue with assassins and mages and warriors plotting and counter-plotting against one another that the heroine and hero find each other and make unlikely allies. CRITIQUE The romance is predictable and a little rushed, kind of bland and not really steamy at all, but it wasn't really the point of the story. The heorine is not romantic and is very no nonsense, though the hero very much is a dreamer. It's a case of opposites attract and romantic interactions are not this author's forte, or perhaps she didn't want to muddle the story with unnecessary romance. Despite this I wanted to keep reading because there was still a lot of drama and intrigue and bloody fight scenes reminiscent of ninjas and House of Flying Daggers but with magic, so it was right up my alley. Every book ends with a little twist or plot hanging, but not to the extent that it's annoying. Each book ends rather naturally and there are no time skips. The pace is good. The book is well written. My only complaint is that the page (on Kindle version) doesn't separate the message that's written on a note the hero or heroine is reading. It just blends into the rest of the page which makes it confusing when the pronouns suddenly switch. A little editing will help that. I could have lived with the author putting the hero down a little less, saying he's not as clever or confident as the heroine, and even he believes that. His heart however is always in the right place and he never changes that no matter how difficult it becomes. And maybe taking the heroine down a notch on her awesomeness would have helped. She thinks she's a brilliant tactician and the author actually states how great she is several times, but is she really? What's obvious to the reader sometimes slips right past her. The heroine puts so much stock in her instincts but she makes some really reckless, terrible choices. Her OP-ness that almost always saves her is what took my rating down a notch. And when you think she's down for the count, she somehow, miraculously pulls a level-up. There is not much in character growth until she meets the hero and truly understands who and what he is (in book 2) and he changes her perspective on the world and what she wants for herself (that happens more in 3). But in the end they both make the right choices to be better for each other. If you liked the first book, you will naturally want to read the second book. Then you will be committed to finish. The first book is centered around the heroine, the second around the hero, the third about them coming together, and the fourth is them fixing the world. The ending was good: not too neatly tied up, but all your questions will be answered. It's a very modern take on gender roles, identity and romance. In my view the heroine could take over the world if she wanted to but no, she doesn't want it. That's fine too.

March 31, 2021

I am delighted to have discovered Lisa Cassidy's A Tale of Stars and Shadows Series. Rich, complex and flawed characters, a sweeping multi continent saga and story telling so sharp and unexpected, she had me from book one and I couldn't stop reading until the last page of book four. I don't think I've ever sobbed while reading fantasy fiction before. But I cheered out loud and wept with this series. Lisa is a brilliant story teller. Highly recommend.

Amazon Customer
March 22, 2021

I cannot begin to explain what a must read this series is. Cassidy is an absolutely amazing author. This story pulled me in so many directions. I laughed hard and cried harder. As sad as I was that it was over, I was even more content with the ending. There was love, war, mystery, betrayal. It had everything... I’m so glad I found this series and this author. I will be re-reading this many times to come.

Michael J Sheehan
March 11, 2021

A lot of the fantasy available now is dreadful, so I am always delighted when a genuinely excellent book is available. This works well as a stand alone novel, but is also the first of a four part series, with each book being as good as the others. The world-building is skilfully done and the characterisation is excellent. You really care about the characters and the author handles complex emotional and moral issues really well. The world comes to life because the peoples and the characters that represent them are so convincing and attractive. Equally the baddies are believably unpleasant representatives of unjust societies. I haven't read the authors other series, but this one is certainly first class. I invariably bought each sequel while only half way through the previous one.

March 6, 2021

I loved this book! Such unforgettable characters building life time friendships for a better future. The ending left me stunned!

Mo McIlree
March 5, 2021

The summary here is quite honestly very lackluster and I read it several times and passed while browsing on KU. Finally desperate for something new to read, I read it. Hoooly heck, what a ride. You know a book has me in its clutches when I finish it and continue to dwell on it. This is one of those books. Great start to a series. Extremely slow burn, which I love, so if you're looking for strong romantic attraction in the first book, move along.

Kindle Customer
February 17, 2021

I loved the main characters in this book,but especially the strong female lead that was not just a two-dimensional portrayal of a strong female hero. Loved the world building,political elements, and the more realistic behaviors people would have in certain situations. Finally, a fantasy book I couldn't put down or want to skim.

P Johnson
February 3, 2021

Lisa Cassidy knows how to fill out her characters gradually so that the reader keeps learning what makes everyone tick as the story evolves. Action, loyalty and intrigue are a constant in5is coming of age story that has nothing to do with age...maybe coming of self is a better term. I love what the author is accomplishing.

Valeriya Lloyd
January 31, 2021

I enjoyed the whole series very much, a great well - written story! If you are looking for a classic epic fantasy reading, A Tale of Stars and Shadow will never disappoint you. I think that this series should receive more attention from high fantasy lovers

January 28, 2021

This series is absolutely binge worthy! I read the first book and couldn’t stop! I think I read all four books in a week. The story line pulls you in from the first moment. Cuinn frustrated me a little towards the end of the series because I thought he was toughening up, becoming more realistic and practical rather than the weak idealist he had been and was disappointed when he went back to that, but the way the story ended needed that to end the way it did. (That may sound vague but I don’t want to spoil anything!) Either way the journey was highly entertaining and I would definitely recommend this book.

January 25, 2021

I've never read so many books in one month! It's all because of @Icasswrites and her series: a Tale of Stars and Shadow!! Her first book began slow but all to the benefit of the world building and character development. There amazing and after that book I couldn't stop thinking about Talyn and her wolf's. Book 2 will make it clear that there is so more to the story and book 3 and 4 are just killing! There fast paced, packed with action and you just can't stop reading!! This series is for you if you love enemies to lovers, epic battles, fierce woman en men, spies, political intrigues, mistery, magic and fantasy! If you loved the cruel prince series, game of thrones, from blood and ash, the bridge kingdom and a curse so dark and lonely then go and read this series!

January 21, 2021

I really enjoy your writing. You are smart and you build your characters slowly. Although, this book was slow moving into the real exciting action(left for the other 3 in the series) I would take this kind over the rushed, predictable books. Very good read. Please keep writing. Excellent series

avid reader
January 18, 2021

I am immediately. Immediately. Reading the next book in this series. Strong kick-ass heroine? Check. Unique world building? Check. Now if I don’t get a little romance soon I may have some complaints, but I’m all for a slow build that actually makes sense to the characters.

January 14, 2021

The whole book series was a great journey from beginning to end!

January 5, 2021

I’m not sure how this book landed in my suggested titles, but I am so glad it did. Stories of adventure, strategy, love, friendship, and unjust social structure weave a tale that held my interest throughout. Appropriate for both adults and teenagers, this author did an amazing job.

Sarah A.
January 2, 2021

I came across this book, and this author, by accident. I’m so unbelievably glad I did. This series is impeccable — and has made me fall in love with reading again. Magic. Royalty. War. Loss. Love. Honor. Independence. Loyalty. These themes are all woven into a story so well-written by a writer who has a true gift for world-building. IMHO, Lisa Cassidy surpasses even Tolkien and Rowling.

January 2, 2021

I came across this book, and this author, by accident. I’m so unbelievably glad I did. This series is impeccable — and has made me fall in love with reading again. Magic. Royalty. War. Loss. Love. Honor. Independence. Loyalty. These themes are all woven into a story so well-written by a writer who has a true gift for world-building. IMHO, Lisa Cassidy surpasses even Tolkien and Rowling.

Janine Kowalke
December 27, 2020

Excellent start to this fantasy series. Characters are engaging, plot is solid, just the right amount of mystery. I am going to book two right now!

Virginia McClain
November 25, 2020

I just finished the fourth and final book and I now have the worst book hangover. This series hit all the right notes for me and I couldn't put it down. I barely did anything but read for for a week and devoured them all. I really hope Cassidy writes some follow up novels or novellas with the same characters. I would love to read more in this world. If not, I will probably just go back and reread this series at least once a year just to hang out with these characters again.

November 9, 2020

I don't usually like fantasy book but this one was really good - a page turner

Kindle Customer
October 30, 2020

I read this book thru KU. Idky but it was recommended to me as a romance. This book was NOT a romance. There were glimpses of different types of love to be sure. But definitely not a romance. Also, author needs a better editor. That said, I'm normally not that into militarism & tactics when I read but the characters & the political intrigue were very good. Some things were predictable but that didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the book. Even though it's not my usual cup of tea, I am gonna stick this series out for now. Hence, 5 stars.

sabrina m chargualaf
October 16, 2020

This book was so refreshing and original. I have not read a series that made me stay up all night in a while. Well written, no obvious plot lines, complex characters and great world building. For those who love Sarah J Maas this is for you. A lot of other books hype they can compare and cannot whatsoever. If you love Aelin, well get ready to meet Talyn. Both badass and not willing to bend to anyone to achieve their goals. Read now!

Kindle Customer
October 10, 2020

Very well written story. Loved everything about the characters and the storyline. Really enjoyed the idea of winged people. Finding out who exactly was the Shadowhawk at the end was kind of a surprise. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.

R. Holtrop
October 4, 2020

Slow rich world building and solid character development lead well into tense action and intrigue as the pace accelerates. I very much enjoyed the story and after tearing through it today, have the next in the series downloaded to my kindle.

A broken warrior.

A shadowy criminal.

A whole new adventure awaits…

…’Burn bright and true’…

Dumnorix princess and born warrior, Talyn Dynan was the finest fighter of her generation. With her Callanan partner at her side, she was invincible, reckless, a death-knell to their enemies. But after her partner is torn away from her, Talyn is left broken, wracked with guilt and unable to regain the confidence she once had. Could an unexpected mission to the mysterious country of Mithranar, home of the magical winged folk, be the thing that saves her? Or will the danger and secrets she finds there finally break her completely?

The Shadowhawk lives a life in the shadows. Constantly hunted for his criminal exploits, yet desperate to help the human folk of Mithranar who are oppressed by their winged folk rulers, he haunts the streets of Dock City. The arrival of a foreign warrior threatens to upset the carefully balanced life he leads, but when she begins to offer a hope for the humans he’s only ever dreamed of, can he risk trusting her?
And unbeknownst to both, a mysterious foe stalks the dark corners of Dock City. One that answers to a single purpose…