Shadow Players Trilogy by Heidi Heilig – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (Booksparks)

Publication Date: September 25, 2018 | October 08, 2019 | April 27, 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy

Adventure Rating: 4 Stars for the whole series

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*Amazon and Bookshop are my affiliate links*

A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader. The first book in a new trilogy from Heidi Heilig.

Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood. But the old ways are forbidden ever since the colonial army conquered their country, so Jetta must never show never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.

Heidi Heilig creates a world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism.

*Thank you to the publisher for sending me On This Unworthy Scaffold in exchange for an honest review!*

First I want to share some cool facts about this series with y’all! First of all, the author is Asian and Pacific Islander. I had the privilege of meeting her one time and I fangirled so hard because I am also part Asian and Pacific Islander! We had a good conversation about Hawaii and it was a dream to meet her! Second, the book titles are named after Shakespeare! And third, the author has bipolar disorder and wrote (most) of her experiences into her MC, Jetta.

Book talk now! I love this series! It’s written in first person, letters, music, and a play script. Very cool. I have never read a book like that before! Her writing is so unique!

I love the world building. Heilig writes a beautiful world of French and Asian culture mix; myths become reality; life meets death.

Jetta, the main character, has a unique power that gives her sight and control over the souls of the dead. She is stubborn but loves with her whole heart. She and Leo make a great team! I loved them! I really enjoyed Akra, her brother as well. In the second and third book we see and hear from him a lot more. Theodora, Cameron, Cheeky, and Tia make up the rest of their “group”. They are a very diverse mix! I loved that Theodora was a STEM rep. I would definitely read a book all about her!

The creatures Jetta makes through her power are so cool! There is a cat, a dragon, and a gryphon all at play here.

There is also a really creepy bad guy that has a different sort of power.

In the second book, we see a lot of beautiful descriptions of Chakra, and in the third, we see a lot of Aquitan. I would love to see the Lion lands!

I would like to finish by saying: Heilig, how dare you. You know what you did. You might as well have punched me right in the heart. *cue crying from heart pain*

My ONLY complaint is that there wasn’t a lot of fire in the romances. But then again the romances are a small part of the story.

Published by Storied Adventures

I have loved reading ever since I can remember. As a child, I often heard the words, "Please put down your book for one second!" That still hasn't changed as an adult! I am always reading at least two books and I will always have one on me!

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