About the Book
Book: Shattered Reflection
Author: Madisyn Carlin
Genre: New Adult Christian Fantasy / Fairytale Retelling
Release date: December 21, 2022
Can hope be found for four shattered souls?
Princess Nordica Icerri’s crown will be purchased with blood—her blood. Now the sole heir to the throne, she is determined to be the queen the Snowlands deserve, but that comes with a price: a numbed heart and soul. Only when she meets kidnapped physician Loren Alocer does Nordica allow herself to hope she can become queen without completely losing herself. But not everyone wants what’s best for the Snowlands, and Nordica’s upcoming rule is compromised at every turn. Can the criminal physician—and his faith—thaw Nordica’s heart, or is she destined to be the heartless queen she is being forced to become?
War shattered not only Breac Finson’s heart, but his faith as well. Tired of fighting, Breac only wants to be left alone, but his efforts are for naught when a friend calls in a favor. He soon finds himself in an unexpected alliance with Layree Alocer, a woman determined to find her wrongfully-kidnapped brother at all costs. Can a broken soldier help right a wrong—and find his faith again in the process?
Sides must be chosen and loyalties will be tested as a new war approaches. Can broken lives be mended in time to help save the Snowlands, or is evil already too deeply embedded?
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About the Author
Madisyn Carlin is a Christian, homeschool graduate, blogger, voracious bookdragon, and author. When not spending time with her family or trekking through the mountains, she weaves tales of redemption, faith, and action.
Want to connect? https://linktr.ee/madisyncarlin
More from Madisyn
What comes to your mind when you think about fairytale retellings? Is it Disney’s 1950 retelling of Cinderella? Glittery swirls of magic? Talking animals? Pretty gowns? Or, perhaps, frying pans or a sassy dragon?
My interest regarding fairytales was first piqued when I was young. Though I was only three, I distinctly remember riding in the car and flipping through the three-story fairytale collection my mom just purchased for me. I couldn’t read, but the bright colors and abundance of animals entranced me. Now I not only read fairytales, I write retellings of them.
Why, though? Aren’t fairytales just fun stories that sometimes impart a lesson?
No. Fairytales are much more than that. The majority of fairytales contain deep, important lessons the authors or culture of that time wanted their readers and listeners to learn from. Fairytales offer encouragement, hope, and include gentle reminders about doing the right thing even when we don’t want to.
Take, for instance, The Snow Queen, which is the fairytale I modeled Shattered Reflection after. In The Snow Queen, the forefront themes are loyalty and perseverance. No matter what trials the female protagonist endures, she pushes on with the mindset that rescuing her best friend is worth the effort and pain.
Aside from being rich in wry humor, breathtaking scenic descriptions and worldbuilding, and interesting characters, The Snow Queen contains faith and reminds readers that our ultimate source of strength is God—not ourselves.
This is what I wanted to emulate in Shattered Reflection. This story—with its broken characters, tattered kingdoms, and insidious antagonists—contains plenty of faith amidst pain, questions, and wounded hearts. I wanted to illustrate that, no matter what we’re going through, God is in control and nothing and no one ever slips from His grasp.
What is Shattered Reflection?
Title: Shattered Reflection
Series: The Shattered Lands | Book One
Genre: NA Christian Fantasy
Subgenre: Fairytale retelling (The Snow Queen)
Ages: Appropriate for ages 15+ due to non-graphic violence
Core Themes: Salvation, Loyalty, and Forgiveness
Shattered Reflection is a Christian fairytale retelling which incorporates heavy faith elements, numerous action scenes, clean romance, and plenty of evil villains.
SR1 contains heavy topics, although none are described in a gratuitous and gory manner. There is also a lot of violence, so I do not recommend this book for anyone younger than fifteen. If you are older than fifteen and are easily bothered by such content, then this probably is not the book for you.
Texas Book-aholic, January 22
To Everything There Is A Season, January 23
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 23
Locks, Hooks and Books, January 24
Cover Lover Book Review, January 25
deb’s Book Review, January 25
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 26
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 27
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 28
Literature Approved, January 28
Denise L. Barela, January 29
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 30
Blogging With Carol, January 31
Through the Fire Blogs, February 1
Pause for Tales, February 2
For Him and My Family, February 3
Rebecca Tews, February 4
Holly’s Book Corner, February 4
To celebrate her tour, Madisyn is giving away the grand prize package of one autographed paperback copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Shattered Reflection was not the first book I tried by this author, and I like that she took an older tale and put her own spin to it. I so enjoy experiencing familiar tales in new ways and through someone else’s perspective.
But unfortunately, this one was too saturated with blood and darkness for me to enjoy it. I do need to point out that it’s noble to point out the evils of human slavery and mass bloodshed. But this book did it through a “human depravity” lens, not with a “how does God see this” point of view. What I mean by that is that I could pick up a secular book with blood and gore and plenty of awful people doing awful things to each other, feel depressed, and end up none the richer. I wanted more than that from this book.
Yes, evil should not be sugarcoated. But when torture and bloodshed are included so frequently that you get desensitized to it and get exasperated because nearly every scene has it in one form or another to the point that you are surprised not to see cruelty, it doesn’t make for the reading experience I’m looking for. Cursing is mentioned frequently. Even believers in this book curse, though of course the specific words they would use aren’t written. And they struggle to trust with no anchoring hope that things will change for the better. They look at the evil in the world and wonder why God isn’t intervening.
But God doesn’t correct those who aren’t His own while they live on earth. The flip side of that is they don’t have His protection. They can live in sin without God intervening, and they also go through suffering without God intervening because they aren’t His. They have the choice to become His, but, understand, a life without the restrictions that come with being a child of God has a strong attraction. And these characters are asking the wrong questions because they have the wrong expectations.
Additionally, the villains didn’t feel realistic to me because their glares and name-calling and smirks and sneers felt tacked on, not as realistic responses to situations. Real people are more nuanced than that, regardless if their motives are good or evil. And these villains seemed violent but without real power, which made them seem one-sided and made it less believable when the showdown came.
But I liked that the author was committed to showing friendships and care between siblings as well. Not the parts with insults between friends about ugly mugs and body odor, but the parts that involved loyalty to one another and good-natured fun. The following is one of my favorite quotes from the story.
“Then what is it?” Breac took a step back as suspicion bloomed. Surely they wouldn’t… “Please don’t tell me you’re trying to set me up with some sweet girl Silci’s known all her life.”
Silci huffed. “That was once, Breac. Once.”
“And I’ll forever be scarred.”
Canon snickered. “I want to hear the story behind that. But, in answer to your terror, Breac, no. That’s not it. And I would like to humbly remind you that you owe me. A lot. So consider this me calling in a favor.”
Silci patted Breac’s forearm. “Promise you’ll think about it before saying no.”
Breac crossed his arms. “What is it?”
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. A positive review was not required.
Thank you for sharing your honest review of Shattered Reflection, The cover is lovely and the synopsis has intrigued me, this story sounds like a must read for me despite the violent scenes that you mentioned
love the author’s logo too. love fantasy!
i love a good retelling!