Summary: In a world ruled by six ancient Houses of Magic, a girl and a boy begin an epic and dangerous journey of discovery… After her parents’ murder, 13-year-old Lilith “Lily” Shadow rules Gehenna from Castle Gloom, an immense and windowless citadel. Once Lily’s ancestors commanded spirits, communed with the dead, and raised armies from out of the grave. But now her country is about to be conquered by the Shadows’ ancient enemies – the Solars, the lords of light. Thorn is a peasant boy, wily and smart, sold into slavery and desperate to escape. So when he’s bought by Tyburn, executioner to House Shadow, he’ll agree to just about anything – even to serving Castle Gloom for a year and day in order to earn his freedom. When Lily is nearly poisoned by a ruthless and unknown assassin, she and Thorn embark on a dangerous quest to save Gehenna, a weird and wonderful land of haunted castles, mysterious forests and an unforgettable giant bat. Together they must unravel a twisted plot of betrayals, pride and deadly ambition.
I’ve mentioned this plenty of times before but one of the things I love about books is being able to fully absorb myself in them and this is exactly what happened with Shadow Magic. There was something magical (*cough*badpun*cough*) about the way the narrative of this story pulled me in. Within only a few chapters I was truly immersed in the story and was thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it. Thus I managed to read it quickly as I kept itching to return to it so that I could read more and dive back into this fascinating novel.
Joshua Khan has created a strong and well-balanced plot that keeps you guessing and flicking the pages too. This book is a fantasy novel wrapped in an adventure wrapped around crime and mystery. It’s perfect. It has comedy, heart-warming emotions, friendship, family, and love. It has ghosts and ghouls, darkness, magic and light. It literally has a little bit of everything and it all works together brilliantly. I was truly enraptured with the plot and absolutely loved how it all came together in the end. Utterly marvelous.
As with most fantasy novels, this book held a vast array of characters. Some villains, some noble royals, some feisty squires and one kick-ass princess too. I feel that Khan has done a good job of creating a realistic and vibrant set of characters that you can’t help but feel emotional for. My favourite character was Lily and I am really looking forward to reading more about her in the next series. I also liked Thorn as well, a very interesting character to say the least! But really, the best character in this book is Hades. And that is all I am going to say about that – you will have to read the book to find out why!
It has been a long time since I have read a fantasy novel that has been absorbed quickly by me. I was thrown into this story and fell instantaneously for the world and the characters that inhabit it too. This is a book that has a little bit of everything, which in turn is what makes it that much more entertaining to read about. It is a book that will take you on an adventure, make you feel tense and alert, will cause tears to leak from your eyes and also make you literally laugh out loud. What more could you possibly want?
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **