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 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.
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.
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 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. Follow him on Twitter: @WriterJoshKhan
"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
"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
"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
PRAISE FOR SHADOW MAGIC
"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
PRAISE FOR SHADOW MAGIC
"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