By Virtue Fall: A Song of the Shadowdance (Shadowdance Saga: Book 1)by Mark Wooden

By Virtue Fall: A Song of the Shadowdance

Title: By Virtue Fall

Author: Mark Wooden

Publisher: Writer Geek Press

Date of publication: March 8th, 2014 (original publication date was December 20th, 2013)

Genre: Fantasy

Number of pages: 236

POV: 3rd person

Series: Shadowdance Saga

By Virtue Fall – Book 1

For Her Sins – Book 2

A Reason to Live – Prequel

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Vampire and assassin Adriana Dupré have nothing left.

Manipulated into slaughtering nearly all of her bloodline, she wants only two things: finding her sister-turned-vampire and avenging the deaths of her family.

Sorcerer and Hollywood bad-boy Dwyer Strathan has information she needs. To get it, Adriana must retrieve two relics — the Vyntari shards.

To get the shards, Adriana must journey from the soulless glamor of modern-day Los Angeles to the seedy underworld of Berlin.

She will engage in battles against vengeful werewolves, a trio of warrior sorcerers who protect the Vyntari shards, and other supernatural creatures bent on keeping her at bay.

Each encounter draws Adriana deeper into the supernatural underworld’s struggle for control of the shards, a struggle long hidden from human eyes —

The Shadowdance.

Adriana must ultimately decide if her desire for revenge is worth giving Strathan the power to destroy the world.

My review:

By Virtue Fall is an action-packed fantasy that doesn’t lose steam. We follow Adriana as she goes up against the Daughters of Lilith, her former cohorts, in an effort to try to save her sister, Dominique from them. In her effort to do so, Adriana joins forces with Dwyer Stratham, the head of the Order of Haroth….a group of sorcerers that practice dark magic. She is to get him Vyntari shards….relics that are very powerful and very important. If she gets them, Dwyer will give her information about her sister. Stress if. Adriana has to go up against the guardians of the shards, the Knights of Vyntari and the werewolves that she almost caused the extinction of.


This book was action packed from the first page when Makeda steals one of the Vyntari shards from a mystical temple that is shrouded on Mount Kanchenjunga and doesn’t let up until the end. One of the reasons why I really liked this book. Sometimes, and I have said this in other posts, a girl just needs nonstop action in her book. I liked that there were different fighting styles shown (Japanese was the main one). The nerd in me cheered when Michael Freeman had a quarterstaff and used it while blind. I also liked the epic fight scenes. Every single one with Adriana was epic.

Now, the blood and gore in this book might be a little too much but it is needed. This book isn’t heart, flowers and happy endings. It is a book about revenge and revenge can be a little bloody if you are a vampire on a mission. Take for instance the killing of the international pop star. Talk about an image that is burned into your brain. That had to have been the goriest deaths in a book that I have read in a while.

Adriana took a while to grow on me but she did. During the course of the book, you could see her going from this heartless assassin to a vampire who wanted to make amends with those she hurt (even if they hated her and wanted her dead). She was so full of rage and I liked how she turned that rage into a finely honed weapon.

What I really liked was the way Adriana was turned into a vampire. Talk about a different way of doing it and again, refreshing to read. I actually like his way better than the usual way that vampires are spawned. Less chance of rogue vampires running around and the vampire population is kept under strict control.

Another first for me was that the author hyperlinked main characters bios into the story. So, all I had to do was tap the name and it went right to the bio on the book’s website. I found that it was easier to do that (and not lose my place in my book) then to go looking for it. I have a Kindle Paperwhite and it can be a little difficult navigating at times. So to have that information at my fingertips was great!!!

The storylines were not resolved in this book and the book was ended in a way that it was left wide open for book 2.

How many stars will I give By Virtue Fall: 4

Why: An action-packed book that features some kick-ass vampires. I couldn’t stop reading it.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Violence and language

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

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