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.
In that blog tour post, Joshua Khan gave some examples of books that are his favourites and that have been inspirational, and – for the ones I have read at least – you can see some of those influences coming through. Although this is a fantasy book, and there is a necessary thread of magic running through it, there are also lots of threads coming through from real-life history, which make it all the more riveting.
I loved the characters of Thorn and Lily, despite their very different backgrounds and upbringing, they work very well together, and it’s easy to believe that this peasant boy could be our hero. The reveal of the villain is done well, and the scenes in the cemetery have enough zombies for even the most hardened horror lover.
This is the first book in a series with the second, Dream Magic, due in 2017 – I for one can’t wait to see what Joshua Khan has in store for Lily and Thorn!
I was provided with a copy of Shadow Magic by the publisher (Scholastic) in return for an honest review.