I’m rewriting scenes from The Shadow Reader novels from Aren’s POV. It’s a fun little exercise for me, and hopefully a quick, fun read for you. So far, I’ve rewritten all of the first chapter of The Shadow Reader from Aren’s view. I don’t know if I’ll continue to go through the book sequentially, or if I’ll randomly jump around. If you have a specific scene that you’d love to have rewritten, though, email me at sandy AT sandy DASH williams DOT com and I might move it on up on my list. 🙂

Map of the Realm

I’m a huge fan of epic fantasy, and almost every epic fantasy I’ve read contains a map of the world the characters live in. The Shadow Reader books are greatly influenced by what I read, and so I’m extremely happy that a map of The Realm is included in The Shattered Dark! The map was created Adam F. Watkins, a truly amazing illustrator. Check out his website to see his work. I’m jealous of his talent!

And without further ado, here is the world McKenzie gets to visit.

The Realm Map

Fae to English Dictionary

The table below contains Fae words used in The Shadow Reader Novels and their English translations.

A Printable Version (*.doc) is also available.



abira a type of tree a symbol of Court
amajur magic
cabus medicinal drink
Duin Bregga “The Dissolution,” war that resulted in loss of history
Tar Sidhe magically powerful ancestors
edarratae chaos lusters
enthess second-class citizen in the Realm
jaedric type of armor; bark from a tree
kimki an endangered animal; cross between cat and ferret
nalkin-shom shadow-witch
premthyste type of stone used in name-cords
Sidhe Cabred Ancestors’ Garden
Sidhe Tol Ancestors’ Gate
Tchatalun defiled one
tewar pale red stone
ther’othi one who walks the In-Between
tinril currency of the Realm
tjandel a brothel of humans
tor’um walker; fae born with little or no magic
traep-shom shadow-bitch
yraka fae unit of measurement/distance

The Shadow Reader Discussion Questions

Available for Download: The Shadow Reader Discussion Questions (*.doc)
CAUTION: Some of these questions contain SPOILERS.

1. Do you agree with the choice McKenzie makes at the end? Would you have made the same choice?

2. At one point, McKenzie thinks her feelings for Aren are a result of the Stockholm Syndrome. Do you agree?

3. McKenzie is a normal girl who was pulled into a war. Would you have sacrificed your human life to help the fae fight a war? Why or why not?

4. McKenzie realizes she was young when she was pulled into the war. When you were sixteen, would you have been more likely to be involved with the fae than now?

5. Would you wait ten years for a man to give himself permission to love you? Have you known anyone who’s waited that long?

6. Atroth and the Court fae believe human tech is damaging the Realm’s magic, making some magics extinct, some endangered. Aren and the rebellion believes magic is cyclical: sometimes there’s more magic in the Realm, sometimes less; it swings like a pendulum. Do you believe one side over the other?

7. In Lyechaban, Lena orders Aren to kill McKenzie if she doesn’t read the shadows. Aren tries to do it. He threatens her and puts his sword to her neck, cutting her. Is what he did forgivable? Do you think less of McKenzie for forgiving him for this? Why or why not?

8. What was your favorite scene(s) from the book?