There’s quite a bit of world-building here and the first few pages suffer under the weight of it. Interestingly enough, her conflicted emotional state when she first ran away to Elish might have been the harder part for me to unravel. I’m not sure if its a blessing or curse that we don’t see the Xiinisi (world-builders) homeland and society for jumping into the ruins of her comforting sanctuary creation. The saving grace in these first 100 pages were the characters she populated the world with. I found her interactions with the mere mortals of her realm refreshing, realistic, and often amusing.
Shadow Play was lucid and well-written, with an active dialogue that is smooth and crisp. It can get the reader entranced by the book’s twists and turn of events throughout and leave them with an “Aha” moment with the final chapter.