Why you should be reading The Navarre Chronicles by Sydney Hawthorn

Why you should be reading The Navarre Chronicles by Sydney Hawthorn

Navarre Chronicles Sydney Hawthorn

Hello, there book fiends ! I hope everyone is well. Or at least as well as one can be in the current world. If you are like me and have been trying desperately to read but constantly getting distracted, I’ve got a series for you to check out!

The Navarre Chronicles by Sydney Hawthorn is an ongoing series that I adore. Hawthorn is gearing up for the release of book three, Rising Shadows, with preorders starting soon. So I thought this was the perfect time to gush about these books.

Awakening Shadows Sydney Hawthorn

Awakening Shadows ★ The Navarre Chronicles #1 ★ Sydney Hawthorn

The Navarre Chronicles - Book One - Awakening Shadows by Sydney Hawthorn

A Princess. A Warrior. A Slave. A kingdom falling to ruin. And a Queen meant to save them all.

Navarre has been at peace for three hundred years, the prophecies of the promised princess no more than a whispered memory of the past. Sheltered from the world around her, naïve Princess Joseline is no stranger to the responsibility and isolation of being heir. But when an attack on her eighteenth birthday reveals the looming return of the legendary demon king, shattering every protective boundary around her, Joseline is thrown full force into the long-forgotten prophecy and the role she plays in his demise.

Saved from Aeron’s clutches by a secret organization of warriors trained to protect her, Joseline is forced to choose between her curiosity to understand their motives and her duty to her people’s safety. Swept into the impending war threatening her country, Joseline must learn at all costs not only to fight, but to control the ancient magical power awakening within her.

Her life and the lives of her people depend on it.

Kindle Edition 283 Pages ★ Published September 2020 ★ Lilac Daggers Press LLC

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Review

navarre chronicles sydney hawthorn

The Chosen One Trope

The Chosen One is a common trope found throughout just about every fantasy book ever published. I’m not a big fan of it. It’s overused, predictable and boring. A theoretical nobody who can suddenly conquer the big bad with little to no knowledge or training? Spare me. Literally, they win against the big bad by the skim of their neck, and if that’s not bad enough, The Chosen One can’t do anything without the help of a crew of more powerful and knowledgeable friends to back them.

Enter Princess Joseline, Hawthorn’s heroine.

Princess Joseline is the ‘Chosen One‘ who must protect her people from the Demon King, Aeron.

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Hawthorn changes the game by sprinkling some self-awareness in her characters’ personalities. Joseline knows she is physically weak and has no hope of protecting herself, never mind her people. She knows she can not and should not rely on her new friends to fight her battles. Hawthorn has Joseline train and learn every single day. Every single free moment is spent training. & when it’s discovered that Joseline has powers, Hawthorn has Joseline train and fail and train again with her powers. Over and over again.

You may ask yourself, who wants to read that? But you will. Joseline’s growth from delicate princess to warrior is magnificently done. The Navarre Chronicles is more than just a plot-driven fantasy story with monsters and mayhem to keep you distracted. It’s a character-driven fantasy with a long and intricate plotline spanning centuries.

Whispering Shadows Sydney hawthorn

Whispering Shadows ★ The Navarre Chronicles #2 ★ Sydney Hawthorn

The Navarre Chronicles - Book Two - Whispering Shadows by Sydney Hawthorn

A Runaway. A Lost Prince. A Survivor. A demon king whispering in shadows. And a Queen fighting to fit her crown.

In the months since her birthday, Joseline and the Kynire cadre are well on their way to Raenya, her power and patience—both with herself and her growing magical abilities—increasing more each day. Forgotten allies surface in the most unpredictable ways, and secrets kept for years under the façade of protection unfold truths about Quinn’s past that could strengthen their chances of surviving the looming war. And put an even greater target on their backs. But Joseline and Quinn refuse to weaken, pushing onward despite the odds.

After escaping Narcio Island, Evalyn’s newfound freedom warrants an even greater threat—a chance meeting with Erza Stormwood, heir apparent to one of the violent and forgotten witch covens in the North. But as their bond grows, Eva realizes even the ancient witches are struggling against the darkness. Evalyn is the last person Erza expects to form a friendship with, the last person she needs to be worrying about. Yet their alliance might just be another piece in the shadowed puzzle.

Still, Aeron’s return threatens the horizon. And when the demon king threatens one of the very reasons for her persistence, Joseline’s looming hesitations are shattered. But hope remains. And with it, the will to overcome even the greatest fears of losing what Joseline loves most. 

Kindle Edition 338 Pages ★ Published June 2021 ★ Lilac Daggers Press LLC

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Review

navarre chronicles sydney hawthorn

Blocked Memories & Powers Trope

A lot is going on in The Chronicles of Navarre, and the story is told from multiple points of view, giving us a well-rounded perspective of what is going on. In the centuries before Awakening Shadows, there were multiple demon wars. As a result, Fae have been in hiding, Goddesses are missing, and children of the Deamon King are prowling around. Throughout Whispering Shadows, Hawthorn utilizes the good old Blocked Memories & Powers trope with multiple characters. Yes, I said multiple.

You may think that’s just a cop-out, an easy device to propel the storyline, especially when it’s happening to multiple characters. It’s my general point of view. I hate it almost as much as The Chosen One trope. If I had a dollar for every time I rolled my eyes at a character suddenly having hidden powers, I would be able to afford every book on my wishlist. Believe me, when I say, with Hawthorn, it works. Why? Because she makes her characters work for it.

I always imagine Hawthorn as the Charlie Day Meme from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

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Character Development

Hawthorn may have a lot of characters in her story, but she has taken the time to develop each one of them thoroughly. We get to go along for the ride, and every second is worth it. For instance, we witness firsthand the progress of Princess Joseline. In the opening moments of Awakening Shadows, we see how weak and delicate Joseline is. We know this not just through Joseline’s admission and perspective but also through her peers.

We witness each character’s growth through multiple eyes.

From those first moments in Awakening Shadows to the beginning of Whispering Shadows, Princess Joseline isn’t the same girl. And it took longer than a few quick pep talks or a couple of random chapters to get there. Hawthorn doesn’t just do this with Joseline either; she does it with every character. Jensen, for instance, was a Demi-Fae, or so we thought. It’s not revealed until Whispering Shadows that there was more to Jensen than he or the readers knew.

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We spend the entirety of Awakening Shadows with the slave, Evalyn, trapped on an island. You knew there must be more to her than being a simple slave in your bones. Hawthorn brilliantly teased and clouded her in mystery. You couldn’t help but love and feel for Evalyn. When Whispering Shadows ends, all of the teasing and mystery surrounding Evalyn is brought full circle, leaving room for many new possibilities.

It’s like working on a 1000-piece puzzle with no edges or photos to work from.

& you only get a handful of pieces per book.

Rising shadows Sydney hawthorn

Rising Shadows Sydney Hawthorn
Image from author’s Instagram

A Healer. A Witch. An Heir.

A villainous monarch rising from the darkness.

And a queen determined to protect the realm.

About Rising Shadows by Sydney Hawthorn The Navarre Chronicles
Image from author’s Instagram

navarre chronicles sydney hawthorn

The covers of The Navarre Chronicles are all beautiful. More beautiful in real life than on a screen. I recently purchased the paperbacks for a reread, which I rarely do & near died when I opened the package. Breathtaking. Awakening Shadows has been my favourite cover so far, but damn that Rising Shadows cover may take the top spot. The more I look at it, the more stunning it becomes.

As of Hawthorn’s last Instagram update, preorders for Rising Shadows ebook start April 24, 2022

Rising Shadows is scheduled for release Summer of 2022

ku indie author must read

Hawthorn is an indie author, so ultimately the best place to purchase The Navarre Chronicles is through her shop. [ HERE ] The series is available through Kindle Unlimited to read if you are a member. If you are a Canadian like me, you will be happy to know you can purchase Hawthorn’s books through Chapters ! Yes, that’s right – Chapters is slowly upping their indie author game. However, if ebooks are your preferred way to read, they are not available on KOBO.

Chapters/Indigo Amazon barnes&noble

Sydney Hawthorn : Instagram Webpage

Happy Reading Friends

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