Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan, Hardcover review, paperback coming out March 14, 2017
Best Middle School book of 2016! (in my humble opinion) All takes place at Castle Gloom where there are secret passages, magic, vampires, monsters, zombies and a giant flying bat (of course it comes with a saddle) to lead three 13 years old on an absolute thrill ride.
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. Book 1 of a three book series.
Advance Praise:"If you are pining for that thrill you felt when you first discovered Harry Potter, let me recommend Shadow Magic. Here is a fantasy world you will lose yourself in -- with Six Great Families of magic, the nicest princess of darkness you've ever met, a peasant boy with skills to rival Robin Hood, and a supporting cast of zombies, paladins, ghost puppies, executioners, minstrels, murderers, and a giant hero bat. I defy you not to love this story." -- Rick Riordan
"Zestful, dynamic and addictive, Shadow Magic is storytelling at its most exuberant. Joshua Khan sweeps you up on the very first page and never lets you go. Close shaves, high adventure, wild fantasy, and giant bats -- this book has it all. I haven't had this much fun in ages. Sit back and enjoy the ride!" --Jonathan Stroud
"Great, in-depth, unusual world-building coupled with funny, down-to-earth writing. Just call me Joshua Khan's number one fan."-Sarah Rees Brennan
"There's plenty of magic to be found in Shadow Magic -- necromancy, giant bats, ghosts! -- but the real enchantment is the spell it weaves around the reader. I'd battle a whole army of the dead just to get to spend more time in Castle Gloom and the world Joshua Khan has created." -- Rachel Hawkins
"An executioner's apprentice, an embattled queen of shadows, and a royal hostage join forces toward a common goal-survival in a treacherous world of monsters and magic. Shadow Magic is like the best of haunted house adventures-a dark and twisty thrill ride with just the right amount of creepy humor." -- Cinda Williams Chima
"Working together but never losing sight of their individual objectives, Thorn and Lily uncover surprising truths about their families. Despite the gloomy setting, this book vibrates with hope. Short chapters filled with action, appealing characters, and cliff-hanger endings make this fantasy the kind of book readers will find hard to put down. Recommended for all middle grade collections." -- School Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
Joshua Khan was born in Britain, a land filled with ancient castles, dark forests, and tales of legendary heroes and fantastical monsters. 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 magical stories, it was inevitable that Joshua would want to create some of his own. Hence the Shadow Magic series. 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. Follow him on Twitter: @WriterJoshKhan
"An executioner's apprentice, an embattled queen of shadows, and a royal hostage join forces toward a common goal-survival in a treacherous world of monsters and magic. Shadow Magic is like the best of haunted house adventures-a dark and twisty thrill ride with just the right amount of creepy humor. "—Cinda Williams Chima