I was ridiculously excited to receive this fantastic book post from the lovely Abi Elphinstone a book proof of her second book ‘The Shadow Keeper’ which immediately jumped to the top of my to read pile. It even contained a message in a teeny tiny bottle which had a code you needed to solve! The book isn’t due to be published until February 2016 but I enjoyed it so much I just had to share it with you in anticipation of its release. Please be reassured this review contains no spoilers but I just had to share with you the sheer joy I felt upon reading this book.
When you read a book by an author you’ve met it kind of takes on a whole new meaning. You see it as an extension of them, something that they have poured their soul and all their creativeness into and that makes you appreciate it so much more. In the case of this brilliant sequel ‘The Shadow Keeper’ by Abi Elphinstone, every page you read feels more real because I know from listening to Abi’s tales that she has actually climbed down caves filled with stalagmites and stalactites, jumped off mountains and flown like a bird and swum in lakes which convinces me that what I’m actually reading is real.
It’s really difficult to write a review about a book you truly love? Will you be able to put into words how you felt when reading it? How will you convey the sheer grip the book has on you so that you want to read on, but at the same time you want to stop because you can’t bear it to end. What can you do to convince the reader that they will be so drawn into this adventure that they have to read it. You know they will have a physical reaction to it because it is so tense and dramatic and they will get totally caught up in this magical world but how do you convey this. In other words how is it possible for me to tell you just how brilliant this book is without giving anyway too many details and believe me there are so many twists and turns in the story and heart stopping moments that it’s almost impossible to resist sharing. But I promise I will resist!!!
‘The Shadow Keeper’ begins where ‘The Dreamsnatcher’ ended. Forced out of Tanglefern Forest Moll and her tribe seek new refuge hiding in a cave from the Shadowmasks who are trying to destroy her and stop her finding the second amulet which contains her mother’s soul. Locating the story by the sea influences the whole feel of the book, the dynamics have shifted and you can sense that things are changing. The language that Abi uses to describe the surroundings clearly show how much she loves writing in this setting, it manages to evoke these vivid images of this dramatic landscape and you can almost hear the sea crashing against the rocks,
Throughout the story there is a sense that the old magic is stirring and changes are ahead, we are introduced to more magical elements which totally entranced me. Like ‘The Dreamsnatcher’ the story moves at a fast pace but the tension seems to build much quicker and having already become attached to our characters in the first books you find yourself more emotionally involved with the events that are unfolding. The relationships between Moll, Gryff, Siddy and Alfie continue to be at the heart of the story, their bonds become much tighter as they are tested to their limits and are forced to make unbearable decisions. We see their vunerability and their compassion in how they deal with others despite battling the deadly Ashtongue and Darkebite. Even in their darkest hours their humanity shines through and gives us a sense of hope for the future. Our tribe has learned to trust and to love and have forged friendships that nothing can break.
With dastardly smugglers, sinister villians and magical beings Abi keeps the reader captivated throughout. It manages to weave a spell over you so that you get lost in the words and the lives of the characters. As the story draws to a close we wonder what the future will hold for our tribe but you feel certain that there are many more battles for them to fight before the old magic can be fully restored.
A huge thank you to Abi for sending me a copy to review it has been a total pleasure to read.