eARC Review – The Shrike & the Shadows

Title: The Shrike & the Shadows

Authors: Chantal Gadoury & A.M. Wright

Publisher: The Parliament House Press

Publication date: March 3rd, 2020

365 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Men have gone missing before.

The village of Krume is plagued by a haunted wood and a hungry witch. It’s been that way for as long as Hans and Greta can remember, though they have never seen the witch themselves; no one has. 

When men start to disappear once again in the cover of night – their bloody hearts turning up on doorsteps – the village falls into frenzied madness.

Hans and Greta, two outcast orphans, find themselves facing accusations of witchcraft and are met with an ultimatum: burn at the stake, or leave the village forever. 

With nowhere else to go, they abandon their only home. 

As they venture into the strange forest, their path is fraught with horrific creatures, wild and vivid hallucinations, and a mysterious man tied to the witch’s past.

The Shrike is watching, just beyond the deep darkness of the woods.

Review

**Thank you to The Parliament House Press, Netgalley, and the authors for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

The Shrike & the Shadows gives us different version of Hansel and Gretel than we may be used to. Twins Hans and Greta are orphans living in the village of Krume. Their mother died from going into the woods, and their father died shortly after. The village thinks Greta is a witch and they are eventually cast out in to the woods for her ‘crimes’. The downside? There is a mysterious woman called ‘The Shrike’ that torments men in the village by seducing them and ripping out their hearts to put the outside their family’s house. The woods hold terrors the twins can’t even imagine, and the ending will be surprising.

I have never been a huge fan of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, and I didn’t like it much more in this book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if the characters were more interesting and redeemable. Hans screws Greta over from start to finish and Gretel is a doormat. She lets everything happen to her and her ‘innocence’ feels more like blank slate. I think her character should have been fleshed out more.

There was a level of dark and twisty to this book that was refreshing. It didn’t pull punches in that way and the terrors that Hans and Greta experience were interesting. Overall, this book wasn’t quite for me but if you like Hansel and Gretel, retellings, and dark & twisty than definitely check this out!

Happy reading, folks!