Friday, May 6, 2016

Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan {review & giveaway}

Shadow Magic
by Joshua Khan
♦publisher: Disney-Hyperion
♦release date: April 12th, 2016
♦hardcover, 336 pages
♦intended audience: Middle Grade
♦source: ARC from publisher for honest review
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.

Review: Shadow Magic's beautifully imagined world and it's turned-on-it's-head look at the war between darkness and light, along with clever and fun characters easily makes it a new favorite for me.  While this cover was initially what made me excited to get my hands on this book, the story quickly held me enchanted.

In this fast paced adventure there is danger, magic, wonder, and so many emotional battles. I immediately took to Thorn, his gutsiness and humor and determination to right his wrongs.  Lily was just as feisty but also struggled with proving herself to those around her and grieving for her family. A third to their trio was K'leef, a hostage of House Solar, was funny and a little jumpy from a sheltered royal life, but so sweet and a good friend. One of my favorite characters was Hades, an ancient and gigantic bat. The closeness that grew between Thorn and Hades was absolutely charming and heartwarming.  I loved that throughout the story, doubts get seeded about the loyalty and guilt of many of the characters; there's some great foreshadowing and hints, but the mystery unfolds with some fun twists and gasp-worthy surprises. 

The story is also brought to life with a few really dark and edgy illustrations by illustrator Ben Hibon.  Still, with the writing alone, the whole world comes alive with vivid imagery of a gloomy castle that is also the home Lily loves, a wildly colorful Halloween festival, a gleaming bright parade of snooty House Solar guards and royalty, and a gory run-in with some very dark creatures.  This is one of those books that I would love to see brought to life on the silver screen.  I've heard no word on whether or not there will be more adventures for Thorn, Lily, and K'leef, but I would absolutely LOVE to spend more time with these characters in this beautifully-penned world. 
*WAIT!! I just spotted sequel info on Goodreads!! Hurray! :D*

Joshua Khan was born in Britain. From very early on he filled his head with stories of heroes, kings, and queens, until there was hardly room for anything else. He can tell you who King Arthur fought on Baden Hill but can't tell you what he himself had for breakfast. So his head stuffed with 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. 
(author bio from ARC edition)

Purchase Shadow Magic:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

I'm passing along my ARC of this wonderful book, because I adore it and need the hardcover to grace my "favorites" shelf! :)  Who wants it?? You DO. :D
•Open to US mailing address
•Ends 5/20/16

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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