He Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader,

The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader #1) by Sandy Williams—art by Gene Mollica

The Shadow Reader Series, also known as the McKenzie Lewis series, by Sandy Williams. 

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy

Theme Edit

Truth is frequently hidden in gray areas that are difficult to see through.

Series Description or Overview Edit

McKenzie Lewis is a human who can track the fae, and has been working for the fae Court for ten years. The court has been using her to track down rebel fae, because when they leave the human realm using fissures, she is able to see the shadows and draw a map to track them down. During her work for King Atroth she becomes smitten with the king’s sword master Kyol. He has played fae cock tease game (or is that vagina tease?) with McKenzie for a full decade, leading her to believe he loves her, but using the King’s anti fae-human relationship law as the reason for not allowing them to be together. Ten dang years she waits! It seems pretty obvious to everyone that he has been using her, still everything is not as it seems. Especially when she is kidnapped by the bad boy rebel of the fae world, Aren. He is the poster-child for the Rebel side, and he immediately takes a shine to McKenzie. He also urges her to accept that Kyol and the Court are not all sunshine and flowers like they pretend to be. ~ Spaz: The Shadow Reader

Lead's Species Edit

  • Human fae tracker

Primary Supe Edit

  • Faeries

What Sets it ApartEdit

  • A human works for a fae court as a tracker. 

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • First person narrative told by McKenzie Lewis, protagonist. 

Books in Series Edit

Shadow Reader series — or: McKenzie Lewis series

  1. The Shadow Reader (2011)
  2. The Shattered Dark (2012)
  3. The Sharpest Blade (2013) ~ Final

Shorts, Anthologies and GuidesEdit

None yet

Themes Edit

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

  • Human Realm (Earth Realm)
  • Fae Realm
  • Lynn Valley: The site of one of the last battles, located in Canada in the Earth Realm

~ Map of The Realm | Sandy Williams


  • London
  • Tennessee
  • Georgia

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Faeries, teleporting, Shadow reading, sword master, fae rebels, fae civil war, forbidden fae language, Fae Realm

Glossary: Edit

  • Shadow Reading: track fae teleports, see through fae illusions

Fae Glossary:

  • 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; Fae insult
  • 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 — ne 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
  • Fae to English Dictionary | Sandy Williams

World Edit

✥ This is a series with incredibly intricate world building and a well-devised story arc. The primary supernaturals in this world are the fae, who move between their Realm and mortal earth, but are unknown to most mortals. The few mortals who are aware of them are vigilantes, who are dedicated to the destruction of all fae as well as the humans who work with them. As the story opens, the fae king, Atroth, is attempting to put down a rebellion. ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: Sandy Williams: Shadow Reader Series


✥ One of his best weapons against the rebels is his human shadow reader (aka nalkin-shom), McKenzie Lewis, the heroine of the series. McKenzie was born with the ability to track a fae's movements by reading the shadows as he or she fissures—that is, teleports, or moves between dimensions. Here is McKenzie describing the shadow reading experience

"My shadow-readings always look like they're drawn by a schizophrenic....To a normal human, the final sketch probably looks like a kindergartner's drawing, but to a fae who hears me name a city or a region, it's as good as having an imprinted anchor-stone. Without an anchor-stone or a shadow-reader naming the location on his or her map, fae can only fissure to places they've memorized. It's sort of like humans and phone numbers: they can remember dozens upon dozens of locations, but if they don't think about them often or dial in on occasion, they tend to forget them completely." (pp. 47-48)

McKenzie can also see through fae illusions. For example, even if a fae enemy soldier makes himself invisible to other fae, McKenzie can see him and can alert the good guys as to his location. McKenzie's main problem in book 1 is determining just who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: Sandy Williams: Shadow Reader Series

Sidekick Edit

Name: — What: — Sidekick-to: — About: — Book First Seen In:

Recurring Characters Edit

Characters What About
McKenzie Lewis Shadow reader: Fae tracker, human duty: help put down fae rebellions
Atroth' fae king attempting to put down a rebellion
Kyol Taltrayn King’s sword-master
Aren Jorreb Fae rebel leader abducts McKenzie
Lena Zarrack fae; sister of Sethan
Sethan fae hopes to take the throne away from Atroth
Kelia fae daughter of a nobleman who falls in love with a former vigilante and joins the rebels
Naito human son of the leader of the vigilantes, now a rebel and the lover of Kelia
Lorn fae; bondmate of Kelia, but only for her magic mercenary who deals with both sides, looks out for his own welfare, has a good heart
Lord General Radath fae; villainous leader of the king's army hates all humans and talks the king into allowing atrocities that kill humans and innocent fae as well as rebels
Sandy Williams

Sandy Williams

Author Edit

Sandy Williams

Bio: Sandy graduated from Texas A&M University with a double major in political science and history. She thought about attending law school. Fortunately, before handing over her life’s savings, she realized case studies weren’t nearly as interesting as novels and decided to get an MA in Library Science instead. She worked as a librarian until her husband whisked her off to London on an extended business trip. She’s now back home in Texas, writing full-time, raising newborn twin boys, and squeezing in time to play geeky board and card games like Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Runebound. She loves hanging out with other readers and talking about books. For recommendations, check out her Goodreads account. And if you have a favorite book or author, she’d love to hear from you on Facebook, Twitter, or via email.

Are you an aspiring writer or just fascinated by the publishing industry? She blogs about writing and publishing every Monday over at the Magic & Mayhem Writers’ blog. Interested in learning more about her and reading updates on her writing? She currently blogs here every Wednesday and Friday. Stop by and say hello! ~ Meet Sandy | Sandy Williams

Cover ArtistEdit

Publishing InformationEdit

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE—The Shadow Reader (2011) : There can only be one allegiance. It’s her time to choose. Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies. A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war. ~ The Shadow Reader

BOOK TWO—The Shattered Dark (2012): McKenzie was a normal college student, save for one little twist: she’s a shadow reader, someone who can both see the fae and track their movements between our world and the Realm. It’s a gift for which she has been called insane, one for which she has risked family and friends—and one that has now plunged her into a brutal civil war among the fae. With the reign of the king and his vicious general at an end, McKenzie hoped to live a more normal life while exploring her new relationship with Aren, the rebel fae who has captured her heart. But when her best friend, Paige, disappears McKenzie knows her wish is, for now, just a dream. McKenzie is the only one who can rescue her friend, but if she’s not careful, her decisions could cost the lives of everyone she’s tried so hard to save. ~ Shelfari

BOOK THREE—The Sharpest Blade (2013): Torn between two worlds. Torn between two lives. McKenzie Lewis’s ability to read the shadows has put her—and those she loves—in harm’s way again and again. The violence must end, but will the cost of peace be more devastating than anyone ever imagined? After ten years of turmoil, the life McKenzie has always longed for may finally be within her grasp. No one is swinging a sword at her head or asking her to track the fae, and she finally has a regular—albeit boring—job. But when a ruthless enemy strikes against her friends, McKenzie abandons her attempt at normalcy and rushes back to the Realm. With the fae she loves and the fae she’s tied to pulling her in different directions, McKenzie must uncover the truth behind the war and accept the painful sacrifices that must be made to end it. Armed with dangerous secrets and with powerful allies at her side, her actions will either rip the Realm apart—or save it. ~ Shelfari

First Sentence Edit

  1. The Shadow Reader (2011): My skin tingles a moment before a slash of white light flashes at the front of the lecture hall.
  2. The Shattered Dark (2012): I HAVE FIFTEEN minutes to grab what I need from an apartment I lived in seven years.
  3. The Sharpest Blade (2013): The time on the bottom right corner of my computer screen mocks me.

Quotes Edit

Goodreads | Sandy Williams Quotes (Author of The Shadow Reader)

“"Fine," he says, his words coming out breathless. "I'll save your precious sword-master, McKenzie. But I will never, ever give you back to him."” ~ Aren (Bk-1)
“"I'm factoring in the fact that you kidnapped me." The bastard actually laughs. "Come on. It hasn't been that bad an experience, has it?" He's got to be kidding. "I just got shot at." "I took care of you."” ~ Mckenzie (Bk-1)
“You told me you wanted time. I’ve given it to you, and I’ll give you as long as you need, McKenzie. I love you.” He tucks a lock of my hair behind my ear. “You’re worth waiting a decade for.”
“I love you. Sidhe, I know I have no right to tell you this, but I do. I always will.” ~ (Bk-2)

~ Shelfari

Trivia Edit

Awards Edit

Read Alikes (suggestions) Edit

Notes Edit

✥ Author had twin boys just three weeks before her first book hit the shelves. ~  “When I’m not writing…” ! | Tynga's

See Also Edit

Category links at bottom of page

External References Edit




World, Characters, etc:



Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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