Review: The Song of the Marked by S.M. Gaither


Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Title: The Song of the Marked
Author: S.M. Gaither
Series: Shadows and Crowns #1
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: New Adult
Format: ebook
Length: 512 pages
Publisher: self-published
Release Date: September 17, 2020
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Recommended for fans of: Elise Kova and Danielle L. Jensen
Content Warnings: death of parent, chronic illness


An ancient evil is stirring. The old gods are growing restless. Can she stop the coming storm?

A Devastating Sickness

For decades, the Kethran Empire has been plagued by a strange illness that leaches the very life and soul from its victims.

The Girl Who Survived

Casia is one of the Fade-Marked—one of the few people who caught this sickness and lived. Why she lived is a mystery even to her and the outcast crew of mercenaries she calls her family. It also makes her an intriguing target for the young, enigmatic king-emperor, who claims he wants to work alongside her to find a cure.

Unfortunately, working alongside him also means working with the handsome but infuriating captain of one of the most prestigious branches of the Kethran Army.

A Soldier With No Past

This infuriating Captain Elander also has secrets: A past that Cas can’t seem to uncover, a powerful but strange brand of magic, and a deep distrust of the very monarch that he’s sworn to serve. She feels oddly drawn to him in spite of these things…

But can she really trust him?

The Fate of an Empire

As the bodies pile up and strange monsters begin to wreak havoc throughout the realms, Cas and Elander will have to work together to protect their world whether they trust one another or not. Because one thing is clear: Something ancient and evil is stirring in the shadows of Kethra.

And the empire will not survive its full unleashing.

But how can they save a world where nothing and no one is what they seem to be— including Cas herself?

Return to the unique universe of myth and magic first introduced in the bestselling Serpents and Kings trilogy with this first book in a brand new series—or visit that world for the first time! You do not need to have read any of the Serpents and Kings books to read this one. All you need to enjoy this new series is a love of fierce heroines, epic world building, enemies-to-lovers romance, and breathtaking adventure.


This is a strong start to a new fantasy romance series! The plot is fast-paced and action packed, full of mystery, scheming, and dangerous secrets. The characters are complicated and lovable. Casia is my favorite kind of strong female protagonist who is passionate, loyal, and willing to bend the rules to protect her found family. As a rare survivor of a mysterious wasting sickness, Cas’s very existence makes her a target.

And you know I am here for the enemies to lovers SLOW BURN. Cas and Elander’s romance is wonderfully angsty with a touch of forbidden.

I found the magic system with gods-blessed powers and crystals a bit confusing and overwhelming at first, but I got the hang of it by the end. Speaking of the end…DID. THAT. REALLY. JUST. HAPPEN?! I need so many answers, and I can see myself falling head over heels for the rest of this series.

Author: Caroline | Carolibrary

Hello! I’m Caroline! I am a teacher, a book lover, and a nerd. My passions include reading, writing, bookstagram, barre & yoga, baking, binging TV shows, and Star Wars. I love stories in all formats because they can transport you to a different world while helping you understand the world around you. I have always found books to be a particularly magical source of imagination.

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