Shadowfae by Erica Hayes
Book 1, Shadowfae Chronicles
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Published: October 13, 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin
My copy: Purchased
Imagine a secret world veiled in fairy glamour and brimming with unearthly delights. A city swarming with half-mad fairies, where thieving spriggans rob you blind, beautiful banshees mesmerize you with their song, and big green trolls bust heads at nightclubs. And once you’re in, there’s no escape…
Enslaved by a demon lord, Jade is forced to spend her nights seducing vampire gangsters and shapeshifting thugs. After two hundred years as a succubus, she burns for freedom and longs to escape her brutal life as a trophy girl for hell’s minions. Then she meets Rajah, an incubus who touches her heart and intoxicates her senses. Rajah shares the same bleak fate as she, and yearns just as desperately for freedom. But the only way for Jade to break her bonds is to betray Rajah—and doom the only man she’s ever loved to a lifetime in hell.
Ever since I read the prequel Hellcursed a few months back, Shadowfae has been a book I've been looking forward to reading. I found Shadowfae to be a very intense, dark, erotic story that was at times disturbing, in a fascinating way. With Jade being a succubus, I was expecting a sensually charged read, which I did get but I also got a look at the unsavory, darker side of being a succubus enthralled to a demon lord's every command. This gave Shadowfae a very gritty and raw edge.
As far as the characters go, I found Jade and Rajah to be mirror opposites of each other. Jade isn't your typical tough, self-confident heroine usual found in urban fantasy. She is very insecure about herself and her sexuality; which can be tough on your psyche when your a succubus. But Rajah is very confident about his sexuality and uses it to his every advantage without any qualms. The character that fascinated me the most was actually Kane, the demon lord who enslaved both Jade and Rajah. He had an enigmatic air about him that made me want to get know him better. I hope there is more about Kane in this series' future books.
The story itself is unique and well written with plenty of enticing twists, told from the main characters' point of views. One of the highlights reading this book was Ms. Hayes’s rich style of writing. She was able to transport me to the oppressive heat, sights and sounds of Melbourne; and made it very easy to imagine the slew of supernatural characters from fairies to vampires with charismatic and sinister personalities. I would absolutely recommend Shadowfae to anyone looking for a gritty urban fantasy that is heavy with dark, erotic paranormal romance elements.