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Publisher's Summary

To protect the throne, 17-year-old spy Kali must play a male guardsman trainee by day and royal lady by night.

Orphaned and trained on a spymaster’s remote estate, Kali is a scout who works alone in the shadows. But when a terror group threatens the Dansil throne, the king forces Kali to accept a mission at the palace or forfeit her sister’s life. 

Suddenly thrust into the light, Kali must infiltrate high society as the royal Lady Lianna while penetrating the servant ranks as Kal, a male guardsman trainee. It doesn’t help that Trace, the harsh and enigmatic captain of the king’s guard, is soon assigned as both Lady Lianna’s palace escort and Kal’s commanding officer. 

As Kali edges closer to the truth behind the violent group’s identity, she uncovers dangerous secrets that could bring her mission to a brutal end. A scout’s job is to observe and report, never to engage...but if it means saving her sister and kingdom, Kali may have no choice. 

Tracing Shadows, by Amazon best-selling author Alex Lidell, is the first novel in the Scout series. Perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce, Leigh Bardugo, and Sarah J. Maas.

©2018 Alex Lidell (P)2018 Alex Lidell

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A entertaining story.

With a good Narrator that presented the story in a manner that was entertaining this
Audio Book is worth your time.

The plot is well constructed with interesting characters.




This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • MelHay
  • Adamsburg, PA
  • 06-21-18

A female scout living two lives to learn info.

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Hayden is a new narrator for me. She speaks with a pacing which I do not need to increase the speed of the book. Which is nice. This pace blended with Alex's writing of constant movement, keeping the story moving forward. There was one section that seemed to be a longer pause, which I'm not sure if it was meant to be there because a break in the section of the book or the audio part. At times, though, it feels as Hayden speaks fast to get through the book in a limited time frame, too fast. She does seem to fit the personality of Kali vocally though.

It's of a female playing a part of a Lady in royal court and as a guard trainee, as a male. It's a common story with two parts focused on one outcome. I listened on, and the more I did I liked the book. I'm curious as to what will happen in the next book with where we're left in a bit of an uproar and things that could happen.

The story is good, but I don't find it as catching as Alex's two other series. In the end we see there is something special going on with Kali but don't know exactly what yet. I think the catch of the story is the magic used with crystals and that Kali is something else in the magic spectrum. Also we have the kingdom the midst of rebellion with how things are going for their lives and the area they lost to another empire decades ago.

We get most of the story from Kali's view as she lives as Lady Lianna and Kal. There are moments added in from other characters. Violet is added in to give a view from her side, though the first section by her feels to introduce the fact that she likes to cut herself to take the emotional pain away. At first meeting, it felt as though Alex had to have something in the story that is emotional and catching. As the story line moves on, we see how Violet falls into a group, where they comfort her in a way she needs emotionally, who are against what the King is trying to do. It's easy to do when there is a void in one's heart, like Violet feels. The first meeting of Violet set this up for us to see.

As the story goes on I started to understand the troubles in the Dansil kingdom. They are struggling with baring children. Many woman are having still born children or dying in birth with the child. This is affecting the kingdom and people in it. They are not thriving as they should to survive as a kingdom. They need help.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

this is great

a wonderful story I love it very much it was so very good and very enjoyable book with a great narrator five stars definitely
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite series by Alex Lidell so far!

Story: Political intrigue? Check. Interesting and imperfect heroine? Check. Excellent world building? Check. Slow burn romance? Check. Tracing shadows is easily my favorite book by Alex Lidell so far. I devoured it via kindle in a matter of days, and was excited to "reread" via audiobook.

Performance: Not the best narrator I have ever listened to, but not bad by any means. This book is performed well, and the distinct voices of the characters come out strong.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

THIS IS SUPER GOOD

This book was very interesting and intense! The ending left me me wanting more! The narrator did an amazing job portraying the emotions of each character and the different voices were great too! Hayden is a good choice to narrate this story and I will definitely listen to the second part when it comes out!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing listen!

I LOVED this audio! Fantastic characters and story kept me on the edge of my seat until the end. I can’t wait to listen to the next book! Great narrator too, she put so much emotion into her performance and had unique voices and accents for each character, even the many faces of Callie had their own unique voice. I received a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

New exciting adventure in a new breathtaking world

The world rich, intriguing, filled with secrets, danger, lies, deceit, and malice. This world one young girl finds she has to navigate by being a dual individual. A world this young girl finds lures her in deeper and deeper. She fights for her family (sister) and her country. There was a dual POV but not the way I was expecting it to be. Kali was so much and so little all at the same time. She was Lady Lianna and Kal a male trainee. There were layers and depth in this one. There was more that could have been revealed.

Narrator Hayden Daviau opened up some doors with the diction and flow of the narration. You could almost feel like you were in Kali's shoes while this part of the adventure was taking place. The ebb and flow of the audio was clear, clean and gave you a sense of experiencing it right before your eyes.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love It!

I really loved this audiobook! Without giving any of the plot away, let me just say that the plot and political machinations are intriguing and the characters are wonderfully complex and endearing. I couldn't help wanting to see Kali and Trace come together and work as a team, but Trace is so pig-headed, insisting on seeing Kali as a woman to be kept out of harm's way, while Kali is stubborn and protective and proud in her own skills. Kali is an incredible and spirited heroine, while Trace is a mysterious and enigmatic hero. Secrets and intrigue abound on all sides, and there is a villain in the shadows. Who is the Messenger? What really caused the drought of children? Who is Trace? There are so many delicious questions! At least one is answered by the end of the audiobook, while the other will have you pining for the next chapter.

The narration is excellent, with distinctive voices and mannerisms given to each unique character.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Magic, Fantasy and Court Intrigue!

A few months ago I read Ash and Air by Alex and absolutely fell in love with the writing, the world, the character- pretty much everything was spot on to make me seek out more of her books. When I saw that she had a brand new series coming out with a female spy, there was no question that I would read the book, more of just how could I get my hands on it.
Tracing Shadows was a fast paced story full of court intrigue, lies and deception, where you are not sure who to trust and what a person's true intentions are. Oh and don't forget the forbidden magic that runs underneath everything in this world, regardless of the fact they try and deny it. If you like your book full of twists and adventure, then I highly recommend this start to the series. In a world where magic is seen as the enemy and acts of terror take place against those that wield the power, how do you use the power to help people/things/the situation?

Kali's entire life is about lies and pretending to be someone she isn't as a Scout aka a spy, making her a hard character to pin down. Her job, or rather life goal, is to find out as much information as she can in any given situation, be it the enemies to the empire or the Crown itself- after all, loyalty can be bought. She was so fluid as to who she became, be it personality or appearance. I did find it kind of wonderful to have such a transitional character, taking on traits and quirks befitting her new identity- and yes, she could be a convincing court lady with manners and breeding (cough, cough, she technically is a high lady, just not recognized, but whatever) and she could transform into a powerful male in a blink of an eye (and a well bound chest). Her loyalty was flexible as well, except to her sister Leaf, who was her whole reason for pretty much everything. Side note, there is another voice used to narrate the story and that was Violet, a young teen in the court, who was an interesting character but more like a side note to me- there to help the story, but I was happier to get back to Cali and her disasters. (oh an ps, I love Wil!)

The narrator was able to create unique voices for all the characters, making it easy to decipher who was talking. She also gave personality and emotions to each person, really helping the audiobook come to life. I will say sometimes the sound quality of the audiobook was a little off, like with a slight echo when the narrator would speak that was slightly distracting, but it did not occur all the time so it was easy for me to overlook it.

Alex was able to create another really cool, unique world within these pages and I found myself blowing through the book because I had to get to the end and discover more information. I am really excited to see what will happen next, especially with the bombshell dropped and the potential changes coming. Alex yet again made a book that I really enjoyed and I am so glad that I was able to experience it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Alex Lidell is at the top of my "Must Read" list!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

I absolutely LOVED The Power of Five by Alex Lidell, so when I saw the opportunity to review another book by her, I jumped at the chance. I'm so glad I did. Alex Lidell has been firmly placed on my "Must Read Everything Written by This Author" list. I had moderately high expectations for this book and it did not disappoint.

Kali was amazing. That girl can keep her stuff together like nobody's business. I expected her to get confused and accidentally show up to her Kal training sessions dressed like Lady Lianna like Robin Williams did in Mrs. Doubtfire, but nope. Never happens. Sorry for the mild spoiler.

I did have a little bit of trouble in the beginning keeping track of the religious fanatics vs. the "good guys" but once I just let go & listened to the story, it all made sense. The religious fanatics were alarming and I found myself rolling my eyes many times while listening to their parts. Maybe it's because I've been marathoning crime/cult shows on A&E this summer, but I saw through their insane ramblings from the beginning.

The action was awesome and plentiful. I enjoyed the secondary characters, Luca and Leif. Trace definitely had my attention anytime he was mentioned. I knew there was a back story to his character but when it finally came to light, I was mildly surprised but had started to suspect it went down that road.

The narrator was really good too. She enunciated very well and did a great job of creating different voices for the characters. When I first started listening to audiobooks, I didn't realize just how important the narrator was, but I do now. I've started to keep a list of narrators that I like, and Hayden Daviau is definitely being added to the list.

In short, Tracing Shadows was amazing, I need book 2, like, yesterday, Trace is on my radar like whoa, and I'm off to read everything Alex Lidell has ever published. But for real, I need book 2. I need it. I need it! I NEED IT!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • DabOfDarkness
  • 08-06-18

A good start to a fun series!

Kali and Trace make a really good team! I enjoyed getting to know Kali on her own and even enjoyed her initial interactions with Trace, who was a bit high and mighty. There was a bit of silly tension between the two as they worked out their always fluctuating relationship but I can forgive them that.

Kali’s young enough to have doubts about her abilities on her first real espionage mission. Still, there were situations that I thought her training would have readied her for, like nudity in the guards change room, etc. So, I did do some small eyerolls. After all, what good is a spy that gives themselves away by blushing over a bit of casual nudity? Kali totally redeemed herself with her knife skills.

Leaf, Kali’s sister who is being held hostage, has her secret skills too – she’s talented with the crystal healing magic, a Whisperer. Alas, this talent can get a person killed. Even though she has such a small role, I liked her character and want to learn more about her.

Crown Prince Wil and his sister Violet are very different from each other. Kali is charged with protecting Wil, so she has to traipse around with him, and also Trace. Meanwhile, Violet is an introverted young lady who has severe doubts of her self-worth. She is also caught up in deep grieving over the recent death of their mother. While I didn’t particularly like her character, she gave us a window into a dangerous and manipulative religious group.

Next to Kali, Trace becomes my favorite character…. yes, it’s a tie between the two of them. While the plot and characters start off simple, we get a little layering later in the tale, with Trace especially. He’s got plenty of secrets and hidden skills. Kali eventually grows a bit after she makes a bad mistake that leaves her injured.

The story never lagged for me. Plenty of action interspersed with spy stuff kept me engaged. The tale does end on a cliff hanger so I hope Book 2 comes out on audiobook very soon. 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Hayden Daviau gave a really good performance with this narration. Her male voices are believable and she had distinct voices for all the characters. I especially liked her waspish, peeved voice for Leaf while she tries to attend to Kali’s injuries. She did a great job with the emotional scenes as well. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • BookAddict'sReviews
  • 07-31-18

Want something more in depth

The voice narration by Hayden is good, but at times I felt she spoke too quickly. Overall her voice narration for the different characters is distinct and full of emotion. There were a couple times that long pauses were used, I think due to some editing. It felt a little off and broke up the story for me. I would give the audio a 4/5 stars.

The storyline by Lidell is good, although I think it could go into more depth. Listening to this story I was wondering why things had turned out the way they did for some characters, and I do think we get some answers by the end. Just not enough I’d say to feel completely secure with where the story is going. I also felt with characters like Violet that they were used to spice up the novel, but also didn’t go too deep with them as well. I would give the story a 3.5-4/5 stars. It’s a well written novel, I just want more attachment to my characters and setting!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Book Addict
  • 07-27-18

An Exciting and Magical World!

Tracing Shadows is a fast paced fantasy novel, following the fortunes of Kali a trained scout that can adopt a male persona. This helps her on spy an underground society that terrorises the local people. Her other identity is Lady Liliana niece to the king and her sister Leaf who is posing as her maid.
As this is the first book there is a lot of world building, plenty of action. We also become familiar with all the characters. I don’t want to spoil it for you, this is aimed at the young adult market with Kali being a teenager. We have plenty of males in the book as Kal has to bunk with the other guardsmen, and Will the Crown Prince decides to make Kali his guardsman.
Plenty of action as Kal, Trace and Lucas discover who’s behind the violence and trying to keep  a war going. There is plenty going on which I’m not going spoil for you. If you love kingdoms with magic and interesting characters, some more than others. I listened to this in one go as the narrator  was brilliant with the different voices, and it kept me glued to the story. The narrator was superb, I wasn’t pulled from the story once.