Book Review: Defying Shadows


“Time is a strange concept. It is the one thing in the universe that is always moving, but in a moment can stand perfectly still.  Some days it seems to drag on endlessly, but the simple presence of enjoyment can cause it to pass all too soon. Meaningful instances register in the memory of someone for a lifetime even as other, more painful images fade away, only to be recalled to mind in some far-off day when the pain of loss is not so fresh.  And though time cannot be stopped or captured, moments can.”

Defying Shadows is the story of a young college student, Sarah, who is just about to start her Christmas vacation,  when she gets an unexpected visit from her best friend and is suddenly (not for the first time) thrown back in time to the 12th century to the charming medieval kingdom of Serimone.

This book has it all. My most admired thing about this book though is the way each character is so imperfectly human, and how easily I am able to feel and understand each emotion with how well written they are. I felt everything these characters felt. Their joy, sorrow, passion, rage, and absolute heartbreak were with me. Ashley Townsend has such a way with words that she makes sure of it. Throughout this book I never once had to take myself out of it to figure out what was going on. Every turn of events (and there are some great ones) is written so gracefully they never feel forced on the reader. Every character decision is easily understood, even if at the time it is hard to agree with it. There is no ‘instalove’ with the relationships, each is built with a strong foundation and time.

I finished this book late at night, having tears in my eyes for at least the last 5 chapters. I was never able to guess at how it would end, and I am glad of it. Defying Shadows is a beautifully written story of hope, heartbreak, faith, and forgiveness. I ended it feeling like I was saying goodbye to friends, and wanting to plant a Yew tree in my backyard.

I was given a copy of Defying Shadows by the author, Ashley Townsend, in exchange for an honest review.

Defying Shadows is the third and final book in Ashley Townsend’s Rising Shadows trilogy series. Rising Shadows and Chasing Shadows are books 1 and 2. 

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Author Ashley Townsend’s Goodreads Page:





One thought on “Book Review: Defying Shadows

  1. Reblogged this on Ashley Townsend and commented:
    This review made me so happy! ^_^ You can cry all over your own characters and smile and laugh when they do, but to know that it affects a reader in the same way is the reason why I do what I do. This lovely lady is a fantastic blogger, and I fell in love with her bookstagram. Follow her if you haven’t already!
    AND I know a lot of you are dying to know how my trip to Philadelphia for Realm Makers was (AMAZING!), but that post will have to wait, because tonight is the Defying Shadows Release Par-Tay. *screaming* *fanfare* *fireworks* There will be a million prizes up for grabs during the night, plenty of hilarious comments and questions, and one random winner at the end of the night will win the Defying Shadows Grand Prize. I know, right?! Books are available to win, there will be music and quotes from the book, Harry Potter gift cards, swag, and MORE! It’s tonight from 6-7:30pm PST. Click the link below to join, and invite any of your friends who like to win free stuff.


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