The Shadow Histories Books 1 & 2 by H. G. Parry | Spoiler Free Series Review

Publisher: Redhook

Publication Date: June 23, 2020 and July 20, 2021

Genre: Historical, Fantasy

Adventure Rating: 5 Stars

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A sweeping tale of revolution and wonder in a world not quite like our own, A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians is a genre-defying story of magic, war, and the struggle for freedom in the early modern world.

It is the Age of Enlightenment — of new and magical political movements, from the necromancer Robespierre calling for revolution in France to the weather mage Toussaint L’Ouverture leading the slaves of Haiti in their fight for freedom, to the bold new Prime Minister William Pitt weighing the legalization of magic amongst commoners in Britain and abolition throughout its colonies overseas.

But amidst all of the upheaval of the early modern world, there is an unknown force inciting all of human civilization into violent conflict. And it will require the combined efforts of revolutionaries, magicians, and abolitionists to unmask this hidden enemy before the whole world falls to darkness and chaos.

Before We Begin…

This series made me realize that I love a very specific, very niche genre, historical fantasy. I loved that Parry mixed real history with magic and vampires. It prompted me to look up the history and except for the obvious, everything ended up the same way. Loved it. Now, I will say it may not be for everyone, there is no romance, and no huge battle/ fight scene, but if you love political intrigue with character driven stories, this one is for you!

Destination

I actually went to a few places on my travels in the late 1800s. I spent my time in England, France, and the West Indies. England was by far the safest place. I spent over 20 years traveling through these lands. France was terrifying because there were revolutions happening every year it seemed like. Beheadings, then an army of the dead, more death. Plus multiple scary leaders. Terrifying. But while the West Indies are beautiful, there was constant war and again, more death. It was really cool to see the slave uprising here and how they took back the island. However, the action was really between France and England who ultimately went to war over territory. They threw magic at each other. They had navel battles with krakens and dragons. Really cool to watch. My favorite place was definitely William Wilberforce house. A beautiful place with gardens and just filled with happiness.

People

William Pitt, William Wilberforce, and Fina are essentially the main characters. Wilberforce was my favorite. His unwavering belief in what is right and wrong was inspiring. He fought extremely hard to get slavery abolished in England. And he ultimately succeeded. (not a spoiler, remember this is real history). He was Samwise Gamgee to William Pitt’s Frodo. Loved him to pieces. Pitt. Oh Pitt. He always thought he was doing the right thing. He was the youngest (at the time and maybe since?) Prime Minister of England. He was a political mastermind. Just not the best at fighting wars. In my travels in the magic filled England, he had a secret that he never let get the best of him. Fina. She is a freed slave. She has the power to go into someone’s mind and control them. Which was interesting because since there was magic, slaves could be easily controlled. Well, she had the actual power in the end! It was awesome! I loved her friendship with Pitt’s niece! Which, Parry, who didn’t write any romance, but wrote REALLY good friendships. I want more friendships like these in my books!

Creatures and Magic

Napoleon Bonaparte controls dragons and krakens y’all. If that doesn’t get you interested, I don’t know what will. Oh wait, a vampire war. Did I rope you in yet? There was tons of different magic use. And yes, magic does take a toll on the body. It’s like a muscle in this world. The shadowmancers were really cool. They could obviously control shadows which were actually creatures on their own. The Vampires are extremely rare. They feed on magic and blood to survive, otherwise they would die. Their powers are strong suggestive powers. They can manipulate. Very interesting.

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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