Last year I read and enjoyed the first book in the series Shadow Magic. You can find my review, and more information about the author here. The second book in the series is out this week on the 6th and I’ve been lucky enough to get an early copy (opinions are still mine though).
In a world ruled by six ancient Houses of Magic, a girl and a boy begin an epic and dangerous journey of discovery . . . Lileth Shadow, princess of darkness, is struggling with her growing powers. Castle Gloom is filling with ghosts, zombies roam the country and people throughout Gehenna are disappearing. Then Lily is attacked in her own castle by a mysterious sorcerer known as Dreamweaver and his army of jewel-spiders whose bites send victims to sleep. Thorn, and his giant bat Hades, must save Lily from the realm of sleep and help her overcome the evil Dreamweaver in order for her to reclaim her kingdom.
What I Thought
First up, can I just say, I love these covers. They definitely make you want to pick up the books and delve in. I also love that they clearly feature young children and reflect the age of our protagonists Lily and Thorn.
In this book, some of the challenges to be faced are, unwanted proposals, trolls, decomposing and wandering zombies and spiders whose bite can send their victim to sleep, as well as doing other nasty things (spiders – *shudders*).
As we discovered in the first book, women aren’t supposed to do magic and this is another thing Lily battles with. She also discovers that as well as necromancy and power over shadows, dreams are another arena where she can use her power.
In the first book I thought that our two young leads jumped to conclusions too quickly but I didn’t notice that here, instead they both appear to be growing into their responsibilities.
These books are an engaging read within an interesting fantasy world, and they contain a fair bit of humour too. I certainly giggled a few times. I’m particularly fond of the character Dott, Lily’s troll maid, in this book. Gabriel is also back, and just as annoying.
Thorn, an outlaw’s son, wasn’t supposed to be a slave. He’s been sold to Tyburn, an executioner, and they’re headed to Castle Gloom in Gehenna, the land of undead, where Thorn will probably be fed to a vampire.
Lilith Shadow wasn’t supposed to be ruler of Gehenna. But following the murder of her family, young Lily became the last surviving member of House Shadow, a long line of dark sorcerers. Her country is surrounded by enemies and the only way she can save it is by embracing her heritage and practicing the magic of the undead. But how can she when, as a girl, magic is forbidden to her?
Just when it looks like Lily will have to leave her home forever, Thorn arrives at Castle Gloom. A sudden death brings them together, inspires them to break the rules, and leads them to soar to new heights in this fantasy with all the sparkle and luster of a starry night sky.
Joshua Khan was born in Britain. From very early on he filled himself with the stories of heroes, kings and queens until there was hardly any room for anything else. He can tell you where King Arthur was born* but not what he himself had for breakfast. So, with a head stuffed with tales of legendary knights, wizards and great and terrible monsters it was inevitable Joshua would want to create some of his own. Hence SHADOW MAGIC. Josh lives in London with his family, but he’d rather live in a castle. It wouldn’t have to be very big, just as long as it had battlements. *Tintagel, in case you were wondering.
What I Thought
Well, I couldn’t defy Rick Riordan – I loved this story.
This is a fantastic addition to the fantasy genre aimed at younger readers (with much older ones able to enjoy it just as much).
Lily and Thorn are both great lead characters and immediately make you want to invest in their story. And, what a story. It’s full of twists and turns and working out who is good and who isn’t (like anything is that simple anyway) will keep you guessing. I found myself questioning my mind many times. The only one slight frustration I had was how easily the characters jumped to conclusions at times, but I will forgive them this time.
There are three key animal sidekicks in this and each play an important role in the story, there’s a clue to my favourite one on the front cover.
There is clearly a lot more to know about this world and the magic within in but the information is being given to us piece and piece, when necessary, and makes you want more. So I’m very happy to say there will be at least two more books in this series. Dream Magic comes out in 2017 and Burning Magic has been announced too.
If you like…Seven reasons you will love Shadow Magic
- Books in maps
- Abraxos in the Throne of Glass series – Hades is very cool
- Mia’s magic in Nevernight
- Game of Thrones (for a MG audience)
- A feministy slant to your books – women aren’t allowed to do magic – What?!
- Spooky castles with secret tunnels
- Graveyards, ghosts and zombies
Scholastic are really doing well on their acquisition of middle grade fantasy. Looking forward to reading more.
Check out the rest of the tour on the blogs below
I received a copy of the book from the publisher but as ever the review and opinion on the book is ALL MINE.