When I first read the summary for Shadows of Valor, I knew it was a story that I would more than likely enjoy. Park's narrative deals with Elsbeth Rawley, orphan and ward to her kind uncle, Lord Shaufton. Elsbeth lost her parents to a tragic fire, leaving her with scars, both literally and figuratively. She has done her best to deal with both for ten years since their deaths. During this time, her life has been one of relative contentment with her cousin, Genna, five years younger than herself, as her constant companion at Graywall.
Sir Calan Beaumont has always been in Elsbeth's heart. Even when she was a young child, she idolized him. He was called away by the King of England to rise as one of the Sovereign's most trusted knights. Elsbeth hasn't seen him for the past ten years, not since he saved her from the tragic fire that claimed her parents. But now he is back for the tournament games at Graywall and to supposedly pursue Genna.
Then there's The Shadow, a vigilante who takes matters into his own hands for king and country. Dark, mysterious, and ever present when needed, he soon enlists Elsbeth's help to find out who is smuggling goods and wool in the surrounding area of Graywall, evading taxes to the king.
I'm not a lover of spoilers so I will try and keep my remaining comments informative, but not too revealing. I enjoyed Shadows of Valor. It is a cute, sweet romance, with some mystery and intrigue entwined.
Elsbeth is an engaging character that I was able to like easily. The evil characters were just dastardly enough that I truly wanted them to receive their just desserts. And the hero, Calan, was the epitome of a "knight in shining armor."
Shadows of Valor is a pleasant, faith-promoting story that can be enjoyed by tweens, young adults, and adults alike. It kept my interest and, although it was somewhat predictable as to whom the villains were, it was enjoyable just taking the journey. There is a bit of sword-fighting and demise, and a few mild expletives, but is most definitely kept to a "PG" rating.
I found Shadows of Valor to be a very entertaining read, one that I recommend without reservation!
Follow Elsie Park on her blog here, and find Shadows of Valor on Amazon here!