Monday, May 28, 2018

Review: Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan

Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan. Shadow Magic #1. 324 p. Disney/ Hyperion, April, 2016. 978148432724. (Review from purchased copy.)

Argh! I don't know how I missed this when it pubbed in 2016! It is so-o hard to keep up with reviews! Perhaps it was because I did not recognize the author's name. Thank goodness Sarwat Chadda posted information about book three, Burning Magic on his FB page! I am familiar enough with the name Chadda (Loved the Ash Mistry books!) that I would've paid attention to a new book by him. Joshua Khan? Who's he? So, which name is the pen name? 

Shadow Magic sports an impressive blurb on the cover by Rick Riordan, "I defy you not to love this story." Ordinarily, I don't pay much attention to blurbs in general or author blurbs in particular. Were I not already in love with the cover and heft of this beautifully designed book, I might have been fighting my knee from jerking and ramping up to defy.

I fell in love at page one. The two main characters are opposites socio-economically and immediately intriguing. Thorn is the son of a thief. We meet him at a slave auction where he is about to be sold. He is purchased by an man named Tyburn. Turns out, Tyburn is the Shadow Family's executioner. Most of the Shadows have been murdered and Tyburn is on the hunt for their murderers. Lily Shadow is the sole heir to the Shadow realm. It is surrounded on all sides by enemies and she must marry in order to protect her people. Her only living relative is a drunken uncle with no magic. Secondary characters are richly drawn and the setting is so vivid, illustrations aren't really needed but they do add interest. As mentioned earlier, the book itself has heft and the cover is gorgeous. There's a creamy feel to the cover and the embossed cover adds to the tactile pleasure. I actually stroke the book while booktalking it! Lily looks positively goth and Thorn sits astride a giant bat! How can one resist this cover?

There's something for every kind of reader - humor, suspense, magic and surprises. I can't wait to finish the trilogy.  

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