Title: The Shadow Cats
Author: Rae Carson
Publisher/Year: harper Collins 7/17/12
Length: 73 Pages
Series: The Girl of Fire and Thorns #0.5
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. And it was not Alodia.
Alodia is the crown princess of the realm. The sister who knows how to rule, the one who is constantly reminded that she has not been marked for a grand destiny. But Alodia has plans, and she will be the greatest queen her people have ever known. So she travels—with her hopeless, naive, chosen sister—to a distant part of their land, to begin to secure her supporters. This region needs its princesses, for it is plagued with a curse; the crops don’t grow, spring doesn’t arrive, and a fierce jaguar stalks in the shadows, leaving behind only empty homes splashed with blood. If Alodia can save them, no one will be able to deny her strength and her sovereignty.
But what she discovers could change the fate of her kingdom, if not the entire world. And it will most certainly change her opinion of her younger sister.
Well, too bad i didn’t realize that this was a prequel before i read the series although i’m not sure that it matters much to be honest. What we have here is a quick novella giving us a glimpse into how it was determined that Elisa should marry Alejandro. From the first book in the series we learned that Alodio the elder sister was the one destined for greatness in terms of politics in the royal family. She’s beautiful and has been taught to run the kingdom from a young age, and that’s part of the plan that leads us into this novella.
Alodia has the best of intentions, trying to right some of the things that her father has done in neglecting the outer territories and she’s setting out to make things right and forming allies. Elisa accompanies her and of course we get the sense that there’s not much that impresses Alodia about her sister. What’s nice here is that we start to see the personality come out a bit in Elisa and we see that she’s strong and intelligent and once given a moment to prove that she’s got logical thoughts, ideas of grandeur are in her future.
This is both a set up for what we see in book one but also a hint at more than what we’ve really seen in the bigger series about Alodia’s motivations and what is really going on in her head. She’s given more of a human side in this book and i think that we needed to see the sensitive side of her to really understand why she’s so cold and tough throughout the trilogy. enjoy!