Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan
Summary from NetGalley:
Thorn, an outlaw’s son, wasn’t supposed to be a slave. He never should have run away from home, leaving his mother and siblings to fend for themselves. Now 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 on the terrible day her father, mother, and brother were killed, 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.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this book! I has so much going for it as a middle-grade series. Lots of creepy creatures, some zombie killing action, two very likable main characters, a giant bat named Hades, and some magic.
The author has created a wonderful world full of magic mystery. We know that there is a secret plot going on that involves Lily and her kingdom, but we don’t yet know exactly what is happening.
Lily is a fantastic character, very strong, but with doubts about her abilities. I find it interesting that girls in this world are forbidden to use magic, but that doesn’t stop Lily from trying anyways as a means to protect her kingdom. There are other kingdoms that want her land and she needs to find a better way then marrying one of their princes to do it. I also like that she becomes friends with Thorn. He is a commoner and a ‘slave’, but that doesn’t stop her from liking him.
Thorn was also a great character. He was bold and brave and not afraid to stick up for himself or make a fool of those that bully him. He also has some abilities but we are not yet sure what they are. He is sold into slavery, but he is treated better than most slaves once he is sold to Tyburn. He is a little scared of Tyburn at first but he does learn to respect him. Thorn is also the one to discover Hades, the giant bat, that has been sleeping under the castle, and to tame and ride him.
A really great read for Tweens!