The Shadow War is another amazing book by Stephanie Flint. Inside you’ll find great character development, action scenes, witty dialogue, and, of course, magic! Toranih and Daernen return as main characters in the second volume of The Wishing Blade series, except this time, Toranih’s sister, Siklana, plays a leading role as well. The three are separated at various times in the book, allowing for different points of view, which I always enjoy, especially when the bad guy gets some of the talking time. The story continues where it left off in Book 1. Some questions are answered, while others arise. I was pleased and intrigued to find out who the mysterious “Destroyer of Worlds” turned out to be. My imagination flew, trying to figure out how the person came to be this way. No spoilers, though!
In this volume, Toranih, Daernen, and Siklana go to Cirena to warn the inhabitants of the impending shadow army’s arrival, only to find they are too late. Shadows are spreading through the town, turning townspeople into shadows themselves. Daernen, the only one who can terminate a shadow, faces his conscience when he learns there may be a chance the shadows can be saved. Much of the book is about the moral and weighty decision of stopping the spread by killing the current shadows (who are, after all, innocents), or letting the spread continue with the hopes of saving them. This reminded me of zombie/viral infection dilemmas. Do you sacrifice the few to save the many? Or do you try to save the few, at the risk of killing everyone? Daernen experienced a lot of emotional growth in this book. When Toranih is no longer able to help, he has to take the lead and grows up quickly. It was a fantastic read and definitely a mind-bender with loops and twists that have you turning the pages. Below is Ms. Flint’s back cover blurb.
Though a shadow is as good as a ghost, with no free will to speak of, they may still be saved… The kingdom of Cirena is under attack from an army of shadows—beings who can only be hurt by magic or fire. Magic has been stolen, and as the shadows spread, infecting all they touch, the last two ribbon mages race to the nearest port city to warn them of the impending invasion. One of those mages, Toranih, is among the few who can see the Trickster-cursed army, and she’s determined to get magic back—no matter how much she distrusts it. When she is captured by shadows and a dark secret is revealed about her future, her best friend, Daernan, is left to defend the city. But his only methods of stopping the shadows are by fire and the devastating magic of the shodo’charl. With the knowledge that the shadows are innocent townsfolk forced to do a warlord’s bidding, Daernan must choose between saving the shadows or saving those who have not yet turned.
If you enjoyed Magic’s Stealing, you will certainly like The Shadow War. To purchase the book, click on one of these links:
-Reviewed by Julie LaVoie