Review: Rain of Shadows and Endings by Melissa K. Roehrich





Of all the worlds and life they created, the gods favored their children the most. But with that favor came the fear that their Legacy would one day become too powerful and overthrow them. Devram was created. A realm hidden amongst the stars. The gods gave their Legacy the best of all the worlds, and then they left, a sworn agreement to never return and to never interfere. Forced to a life of servitude, the Fae are required to provide for the Legacy in more ways than one. Every five years, the eligible Fae are gathered for the Selection and assigned to serve in one of the six Kingdoms. To be chosen as the personal Source for a Kingdom Heir is the greatest honor, and for the first time in a millennia, all six Kingdoms have heirs choosing a Source. But their selections could tip the power balance a little too far. Tessalyn Asura was as forgotten as the realm. But when she finds herself the personal Source to the Heir of Endings, she winds up serving in the darkest Kingdom of them all . The secrets within the Arius Kingdom are meant to be learned and kept, but this was never the life she wanted. Fighting not only the fate thrust upon her, but the temptation to lose herself to desire, Tessa will do anything to escape her new destiny. Until she starts to realize maybe their world wasn’t as forgotten as they thought, and maybe she’s the reason why.


Reviewed by Dakota Watson

Only a white author will write a book about slavery and label it as dark romance and only white readers will rate it five stars commenting “Ooooh! That was deliciously dark.” Prove me wrong!

So I read Rain of Shadows and Endings by Melissa K. Roehrich. All six hundred and thirty eight pages of it to make sure that I gave it a fair chance and give my honest opinion without any prejudice. And now that I am done, I can honestly say this book is the last thing I’d categorize under dark romance genre. This was about slavery. No, it isn’t about a consensual agreement between a dominant and a submissive. It’s actually about slavery. Complete ownership of a person both physically and mentally. This fantastical world actually have paperwork marking ownership of a person by another and if that wasn’t disgusting enough, a magical bond called The Source Bond to ensure that the slave (Source) is at complete mercy of the slaver (Master) mentally, and Entrancing to compel the Source to do whatever the Master desired.

This thrilling tale of two parts: part one, where Theon attempts to convince Tessa that being his slave isn’t really slavery because, you know, he bought her stuff; and part two, where Tessa discovers she’s not your average Fae with the usual elemental powers, but something entirely unique and groundbreaking. In part one, we’re treated to the delightful spectacle of Theon, the slaver extraordinaire, trying to gaslight Tessa into believing that their twisted relationship isn’t so bad because, hey, he’s provided her with all the material comforts money can buy. How thoughtful. Because nothing says “romance” like coercion and manipulation, right? Then, in part two, just when you thought things couldn’t get any more riveting, Tessa learns she’s not your run-of-the-mill Fae with your typical fire or water bending skills. No, she’s got something new and exciting up her sleeve, shaking up the very foundations of Devram. Watch out yall, there’s a new kid in town!

Reading this book was pure torture. Tessa was sent through every abuse possible both physically and mentally by her so called Master, who promises to protect her at any cost over and over again, and by others  around him. I would have fought tooth and nail for her if she wasn’t such a stubborn beyond reason, contradictory and a weak character. What pissed me the most was that she had to be told by the Master himself to pick and choose her battle and to fight for what matters, and his Guardian to fight back without whining. Because in the fist part of the book all she did was whining, fighting about donuts and pizza, being angry and pout about how she was separated from her friends or stare out of a balcony melancholily. She was constantly thinking about the status of miserable existence but never once made a cohesive plan (yes there was one half ass attempt at escape with no clear plan) to free herself or the others who are in the same position as her.

Theon, the slaver—what a delightful addition to this tale of woe. Picture a man as dull as a rock, with zero sense of humor. The epitome of charm, really. This guy had the emotional maturity of a toddler, prone to throwing tantrums like it was going out of style. And why should he care about Tessa’s suffering? He’s just your average entitled, privileged jerk who’s used to getting whatever he wants on a silver platter. Slavery? Normal. Abuse? Totally acceptable. Why should he see anything wrong with it? In his fantastical society where slavery is about as common as breathing, it’s no wonder Theon couldn’t wrap his tiny brain around why Tessa wasn’t thrilled about her situation. After all, who wouldn’t want to be at the mercy of a guy like him? So, kudos to Theon for being the epitome of obliviousness and entitlement. It takes a special kind of ignorance to not see the problem with enslaving another human being. Truly, a role model for us all.

Ah, the joy of trudging through endless pages of meaningless drivel in a book that was soooooooo looooooong. You’d think with all those pages, something significant would happen, right? Wrong. Instead, we’re treated to a thrilling saga of Tessa and Theon’s riveting bickering sessions, occasionally spiced up by appearances from Axel and Luka. It’s like watching a never ending soap opera where the characters can’t seem to shut up. And don’t even think about skipping those chapters, because buried deep within the abyss of their incessant arguments lies one tiny nugget of vital information. Miss it, and you’ll be scratching your head later, wondering what the heck is going on. So, hats off to the author for crafting a masterpiece of monotony, where every page is a struggle to find something worth caring about amidst the sea of mediocrity. Truly, a literary achievement for the ages.

Let’s talk about the stellar lineup of strong, noteworthy women in this book. Oh wait, there weren’t any. It was a total sausage fest! Cressida, Theon’s mother, was nothing more than a glorified wine connoisseur with a substance abuse problem. Seriously, was there a scene where she wasn’t clutching a glass of wine? Doubtful. Oralia, Tessa’s supposed friend, was just thrown in there to remind us that Tessa could theoretically have female companionship. But let’s be real, she might as well have been a potted plant for all the impact she had on the story. And Penelope, the epitome of devotion to her two little boys, Theon and Axel. Because every book needs at least one female character whose sole purpose is to dote on the male leads, right? Oh, and let’s not forget Theon’s father’s Source, what’s-her-face. Just another puppet on strings, doing Valter’s bidding like a good little minion. But fear not, for we had Felicity, the shining beacon of strong female presence, who graced us with her presence for a single chapter. Because apparently, one noteworthy woman is all we can handle in this testosterone filled tale. So here’s to the author, for giving us such a diverse and empowering array of female characters.

The “Romance” in the pages…. What freaking romance? Theon and Tessa’s relationship (if you can even call it that) was anything but romantic. She had zero say in what was happening, which makes it less of a love story and more of a textbook case of sexual assault. But hey, who needs consent when you have a “gentleman” like Theon? Apparently, Theon fancied himself a paragon of virtue because he drew the line at not penetrating Tessa sexually. Oh, what a gentleman! Never mind the fact that he was doing everything else under the sun to her without her consent. But hey, at least he had standards, right? *eye roll!

So, if you’re in the market for a dark romance novel that will leave you feeling like you need a shower afterwards, look no further. Rain of Shadows and Endings has got you covered. Perfect for Haunting Adeline fans!

Book Cover:

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