Blood & Steel: Shana J. Caldwell *Review*

Cover image of Blood & Steel by Shana J. Caldwell is in the centre of an image of mountains under a dark sky. Added text: Can Adalyn trust the fae who oversaw the slaughter of her entire village?

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, NA Fantasy | Release Date: 8 January 2024 | Series: The Fae of Pantera | Series Book: #1 | Indie Author | Review

“I’m still the villain in her story.”

Shana J. Caldwell


A huge thank you goes to indie author Shana J. Caldwell, for letting me read an ARC of Blood & Steel! I’ve been a fan of Shana’s writing ever since I read Enchantment of Darkness last year, and just knew I needed to dive into this all-new story! So, what’s this dark fantasy romance about? Let me tell you…

Adalyn may have dreamed of leaving her home and exploring the wider world, but she never could’ve imagined it would occur this way. Her village has been massacred, set alight by a contingent of Valarki (dark fae), and now Adalyn is in chains as she’s transported north. The King wants human women for his personal harem, and Adalyn has caught his eye. But even as Adalyn plots her escape from this fate, she must accompany Killian (the King’s shadow of death) as he tries to track down the source of a sickness killing the fae. Is it possible for Adalyn to reconcile her head and heart over Killian? Will she escape the bloody fate that awaits her as the King’s plaything? And what happens when a betrayal shatters her soul?

Cover image of Blood & Steel by Shana J. Caldwell is to the bottom left of an image of mountains. Added text: Adalyn can't stop plotting her escape... But what happens when a sickness starts killing the fae?
Blood & Steel is such a gritty (and truly wonderful) dark fantasy romance…

Happiness Boost:

Blood & Steel is a very dark fantasy, and I’m here for *all* of the twists and turns that abound within this novel! Shana’s crafted a unique and gritty fantasy romance, with a true enemies to lovers trope which absolutely *glitters* between Adalyn and Killian. I won’t say they’re couple goals, because please let real life be a bit kinder than Pantera, but their bond is incredible. As two broken souls, I’m desperate for their happiness. Can we wave a magic wand and make that happen? Please?

Shana’s world building is wonderful, and I want to fangirl so hard… But note to self: try to be coherent, Annie. In this dark fantasy, the monsters are extra deadly, and the consequences of defiance are severe. I truly think Adalyn’s like a tiny cat trying to show her claws in a world full of lions, and every time I thought things couldn’t get worse? Blood & Steel showed me how naïve I was! And can we talk about the King’s bloodlust and power hungry ways? Glitterbugs. I’ve come across a *lot* of villains in my time as a bookworm, but this monarch has to be right up there with the worst of them! Or is that the best of them, because we want our villains to be downright awful?

Okay, I’m giving a slightly different happiness boost here… But in this dark fantasy romance, Shana explores the idea of poor mental health, as well as how darkness can cloud people’s hearts. Not only is this handled with a delicate touch, but an empathy which really speaks to my soul. Blood & Steel has blown me away with its message of resilience, courage and love in the face of adversity.


I don’t have a downside for this beautiful book!

Final Thoughts:

Blood & Steel by indie author Shana J. Caldwell is a dark fantasy romance of gritty heartache, fae treachery and a desperate love. I’m absolutely *aching* to read the next book, even though this first instalment in The Fae of Pantera series doesn’t actually come out until January 2024! So what are you waiting for? I can’t be any clearer in my praise… Go click on the link below to pre-order yourself a copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can pre-order a copy of Blood & Steel via this link: Amazon

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