Today I’m going to fangirl just a bit because I really can’t give an unbiased review I love the series that much! I discovered Guards of the Shadowlands by Sarah Fine by chance last year. It was an Amazon recommendation and we all know how off those are usually. However this recommendation was spot on! The series revolves around Lela Santos, a seventeen year old girl whose best friend commits suicide and is sentenced to an afterlife in the Dark City. Lela after an unfortunate incident, follows her friend and basically finds herself in the middle of a war.
I promptly read book one Sanctum in one sitting, liked it so much that I read it a second time the very next day. For me, that is unheard of. Don’t get me wrong. I love to re-read books, but usually I give it some time in between reads.
Much to my complete happiness, book two Fractured was available for preorder and would be out in just a few days. With the preorder I received a short story Captive that told part of book one from Malachi’s point of view. I devoured it and eagerly awaited book two only to read it in one sitting as well. (Can you see the picture forming in your mind of the crazy woman wielding her Kindle at all hours of the night? ;)) So this was my life last October.
For a year now I’ve not-so-patiently waited on book three Chaos which came out earlier this month along with another short story Vigilante from Ana’s perspective and a full length novel Stories of the Shadowlands for people like me who just can’t get enough of the characters, specifically Malachi and Lela. I read these books along with a re-read of the first last week. Again I loved them. I cannot tell you just how happy the end of the series made me, which again is usually unheard of because I hate it when series end, but Fine did a superb job of giving us the readers closure with her characters.
Haven’t heard of the Guards of the Shadowlands? Well, you’re in luck, below are the books, covers link to Goodreads, in reading order.
“My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple.”
A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos’s best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance—hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn’t just anyone—she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife.
As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she’s captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city’s endless streets. Their all-too-human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn’t—the dark city isn’t the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate.
In this thrilling short story set in the world of Sarah Fine’s novel Sanctum, Malachi rescues a mysterious girl from one of his own Guards, who’s convinced she’s a Mazikin. Malachi can tell she isn’t, but she’s not an ordinary citizen of the dark city, either. He only knows one thing for sure—she’s dangerous, and to more than just his mission. The captive’s fate is in his hands—will he end her afterlife or save her?
In the week since Lela returned to Rhode Island as Captain of the Guard with Malachi as her second in command, local news has been dominated by chilling sightings of human-like creatures running on all fours. Lela knows there’s only one explanation: the Mazikin have arrived in the land of the living.
Needing to maintain the appearance of a normal life for her foster mother, her probation officer, and her classmates, Lela returns to Warwick High along with Malachi. At night they secretly hunt for the Mazikin nest. To assist, two new Guards from very different parts of the Shadowlands are assigned to Lela’s unit, including the bad boy Jim, who repeatedly challenges Lela’s authority. Lela struggles to keep all her Guards on the right side of the law, but their mistakes come at a terrible cost.
As one painful revelation follows another and the Mazikin start targeting those closest to her, Lela finds herself more vulnerable than she’s ever been, wanting a future more than she ever has. With an enemy determined to separate soul from body, one question remains: how much is she willing to sacrifice to protect those she loves?
Ana has done her time as a Guard in the dark city and now that she’s finally been released into the Countryside, all she wants to do is find Takeshi, the love she lost to the Mazikin so many years ago. The only problem? He’s nowhere to be found. Now Ana faces a choice—remain alone in paradise or venture into the depths of the Wasteland in an attempt to rescue the man who still owns her heart.
With Juri in control and everything in absolute chaos, Lela plunges into the depths of hell to free Malachi from creatures that have waited decades to exact their revenge. But the Judge has her own way of doing things, and Lela must work with Ana, the new Captain, who has a very personal mission of her own. Together, they infiltrate the most horrifying realm either has yet encountered in the Shadowlands—the bitter landscape ruled by the Mazikin.
The stakes could not be higher, and Lela must accept the help—and love—of people she barely knows or trusts. As alliances and loyalties shift and she realizes the soul she came to save isn’t the only one in need of rescue, can Lela summon the strength to see the fight through to the very end?
Not ready to leave the Shadowlands yet? From Malachi’s earliest days in the dark city to some of the characters’ experiences after the final scenes of Chaos, this bonus volume gives readers an in-depth look at other realms within the Shadowlands and what it means to be a Guard, whether in the dark city, or the land of the living.
–All of Malachi’s journal entries (more than 200) including 30 exclusive, never-before-published entries that reveal his perspective during the events of Fractured
–A 50-page novella from Jim’s perspective (Libertine)
–Three bonus scenes from Sanctum from Malachi and Ana’s perspective (She is the Mission, An End and a Beginning, and The Dark Tower)
–Two lengthy scenes that show some of the surviving characters post-Chaos
This collection is available in e-book format, only.