Review: Daughters of Shadow and Blood; Book 1: Yasamin by J. Matthew Saunders

Title: Daughters of Shadow & Blood; Book 1: Yasasaunderscovermin

Author: J. Matthew Saunders (Website * Twitter * Facebook)

Rating: 3 Stars

  • 1 star: Bad
  • 2 stars: Mediocre
  • 3 stars: Good
  • 4 stars: Very Good/Great
  • 5 stars: Fantastic/Love

Will I read the sequel(s): Yes

Recommend?: Yes

Drenched in blood and committed to pulling away shadows on every level, Yasamin is the first installment in J. Matthew Saunders’ trilogy focusing on the brides of Dracula. However, rather than retelling Bram Stoker’s original novel, Saunders takes characters from the original novel and imagines their stories in a new way by weaving them into a complex web of historical content. Although titled after Yasamin, the book follows both her and Adam Mire, an American history professor caught up in a search for the medallion of Dracula and the bloody conspiracies around it.

Stylistically, the book revolves around constant time shifts that fold Yasamin’s origin story in Ottoman Hungary, other historical events related to her and vampires, Yasamin and Adam’s meeting and the days leading up to it, as well as Adam’s background. Yasamin’s origin story and other historical veins in the story, mainly told as chapters in a history book as well as old letters, read as historical dark fantasy, while most of the parts revolving around Adam have more of an action thriller feeling. This was a very interesting way to combine genres. The different storylines and time shifts were a good way to include both elements rather than trying to stuff everything into the historical storyline, although Yasamin’s origin story and the other historical elements did not lack for a want of violence.

I would recommend this book ideally to people who like both fantasy and thriller, especially historical fantasy. The historical fantasy parts were enjoyable enough for me to continue reading when the thriller storyline did not hold my interest as much, so I would also recommend this book in general to fantasy and historical fantasy fans.



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