When strange accidents start happening around thirteen year-old necromancer Ennara and her friends, she must search for the mysterious stolen artifacts causing the attacks while learning the highest form of magic--the spells that could prevent the fruition of a terrible prophecy.
Ennara and the Book of Shadows is the second book in the middle-grade fantasy series Ennara. It won a silver medal at the 2016 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards for best pre-teen ebook.
Angela Shelley lives in Southern California with her husband and twins. She grew up in the piney forests of southern British Columbia, studying tiny blue bells, dodging hidden cacti, and imagining fantasy worlds in her back yard. Angela studied biology and professional writing and went on to write grant proposals and software manuals before writing fiction. Angela’s first series, Ennara, won silver medals at the 2013 and 2016 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for best pre-teen ebook.
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Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure Strikes the Perfect Tone This reviews both Ennara and the Fallen Druid (Ennara, #1) and Ennara and the Book of Shadows (Ennara, #2) Middle grade fiction stands apart from its younger and older (Young Adult) cousins in ways that go beyond the simple division by ages. Kids this age are just beginning to spread their wings, assert their independence and individuality, and test their limits. Friends help them define themselves and try out new behaviors and identities, although not always in ways their parents approve. At the same time, they’re not ready to plunge into the full-blown angst, sex, blood, and darkness (although certainly rock/n/roll) of stories for older readers. They often prefer adults to hang around somewhere, just not too close by; they tread the line between wanting to go off entirely on their own and needing someone stronger and wiser to lend a hand when they get in over their heads. In other words, they’re highly capable children. Some will happily devour literature for teens and adults, but others want the same adventurousness, but featuring kids closer to their own age. With this perspective in mind, I embarked upon a series of adventures with young Ennara and her friends. The setting included many familiar elements: low-technology villages, magic, prophecies, pirates, “shadowspawn,” and druids. In an adult fantasy, these might feel generic and derivative, a hodge-podge of time-worn tropes, but in Angela Shelley’s hands, they evoke a sense of familiarity. Pre-teen readers aren’t after a startlingly original world with sophisticated culture and so forth; they want a good story with characters they can relate to. So even details that caused me-the-adult to roll my eyes were strangely congruent and certainly didn’t cause me to stop reading (although I admit, finding a professor in a plaid blazer in the middle of a fantasy tale gave me a giggle). I don’t think the intended readers will notice, for instance, that druids have been done to death in adult fantasy; instead, they’ll recognize the name, just exotic enough to be not-here-and-now, but not so alien as to require chapters of backstory and explanation. So the above-mentioned shadowspawn appear in Ennara’s village, thereby initiating a quest for our young heroine. Ennara is magically gifted, of course, although not educated in its use. She has a mentor, a wise old magician (who incidentally is in love with her potion-making aunt, which made me smile), a family, who remain behind but send their love and support, and a best friend. As the adventure unfolds, she picks up a new friend (and a huge marine cat named Smoos who loves to swim), loses the mentor partway through (although he’s still alive and they wrap him up to bring him along with them). Ennara’s gifts and self-confidence grow as she learns from her adventures, so there are no sudden bursts of power but a careful, step-wise mastery and growing self-knowledge, which is, after all, what the pre-teen years are about. The second book begins with Ennara enrolled in a school of magic, the Druidic Academy. Again, that’s something we’re all familiar with from the Harry Potter books, and others. The initiating incident is both hilarious and innovative. One of Ennara’s classmates has substituted a dead flower for the wilted one she is supposed to revive, thereby giving rise to a plague of zombie flowers. Zombie flowers are quickly followed by a turtle dragon, and the friends are off on a new adventure. The one wrong note here, in my opinion, was an attempt to paint this world as the aftermath of the fall of our current civilization. While it’s possible to combine fantasy and what is essentially science fiction, in this case it was both unnecessary and it led to too many unanswered questions. One of the strengths most evident in the Book of Shadows was the choice between light and dark magic. So often in books for older readers and adults, when anyone tells a character to beware the dark side, that’s exactly where that character goes, sometimes succumbing to its temptation. Ennara has a natural affinity for dark magic, but she listens carefully when warned to choose the light. And that’s exactly what she does. It isn’t easy, but even as she struggles to find a way, she never wavers. I found a refreshing innocence in Ennara’s determination, one that, while it might not appeal as strongly to cynical older teens, offers validation and comfort to younger readers. Lastly, both books emphasize the value of loyal, accepting friends (even the marine cat). Ennara and her friends are team players, often fighting together, each with his or her special strength, their whole being greater than their parts. She cannot master every challenge and overcome every obstacle on her own, but together they can. This emphasis is hardly unique to middle grade fiction, which only reinforces how we all need a community. The message here is that it isn’t necessary to be the best in everything in order to be a hero. Your friends have your back. The end left open the possibility for a third adventure for Ennara and her friends. I hope we get to see what happens next!
In the first book in this series we met our heroine, Ennara, and her band of friends, and set off on an interesting, suspenseful, and very well imagined quest. Ennara is marked as a "special" magical eleven year old with a mysterious but ambiguously prophesied destiny. The book was well paced and full of action and adventure. In this second book Ennara, now thirteen, is a student at the Druidic Academy, studying various forms of magic. But, Ennara commands dark magic, not the light, and her presence at the Academy unnerves and frightens some. She meets resistance from some teachers and students, and her place in the magical world remains uncertain.
As a consequence of this setup we get a fair amount of Druid politics, and early on we get some mean girl and Professor Snape-type scenes that feel a bit undercooked. Not to worry, though, because once Ennara is reunited with the full crew from the first book, and once suspicious accidents start dogging Ennara, (a killer turtle, zombie flowers), the book gets back up to speed. Shortly thereafter magical artifacts disappear, the Dark begins rising again, and the game is afoot.
As before, all of the heroes have their roles to play. Everyone, including some especially fun supporting characters, gets some page time. And, we even have a slight touch of romance to add a little sizzle to the tale. We do, also, get a lot of magic, including some very advanced magic. This is not one of those books where everyone just waves around wands and mumbles. Different magics do different things, the magic has to be done right, Ennara is still learning, objects have odd properties, and so on. As a consequence, while this is a fine book for fantasy/quest readers, it does have a bit of a learning curve and takes magic and the world's magic system seriously. For readers who like their magic served with a bit of detail and rigor this is a plus.
As before, the book wraps up with a satisfying ending that leaves the door open for more. It's not a cliffhanger, just a cliff suggester, so there might be a third, and if not there is enough closure here to not leave a reader wondering. I always think that's a nice way to handle a series like this.
So, it was good to follow Ennara and her friends again. Fans of the first book should not be disappointed. Newcomers could start here; there's enough recapitulating to get them into the flow without having read Book One. Again, a nice touch, and a very solid read overall.
(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
Ennara is now at the Academy and studying magic but all is not well. During a simple lesson, she accidentally turns some flowers into zombies. Her magic is causing trouble and Ennara doesn't know why. Then she and her friends get locked into a room with a vicious Turtle and they have no choice but to kill it. Unfortunately, this seems to be the last straw and both Ennara and Kithe are expelled from the Academy. But the headmaster makes it known that it's for their own good because it seems that someone is out to do Ennara harm! Not only that but magical artifacts have been stolen and are being used to take over and control the staff of the Academy. Ennara and her friends are the only ones who can retrieve these and stop the curse from spreading. Can they manage it in time before the whole island is taken over?
I really enjoyed book one of this but I have to say that Ennara and the Book of Shadows blew away Ennara and the Fallen Druid!! It was so much more than the last book and I loved it.
Even though this starts a year after the ending of book 1, it feels like we haven't missed anything. this also starts with the action straight away with Ennara creating Zombie Flowers!! From there it's pretty much non stop the whole way through. I flew through this book so quickly and didn't want it to end. It reminded me of reading Harry Potter and being so eager to see what happens next.
Ennara had grown a lot since book 1. She still isn't too confidant in her abilities but that made her feel more real. She battles with her emotions since her magic won't work properly but she plows through anyway. She makes her decision on which path she takes and does it whole heartily. She is such a strong and plucky character!
I also loved the fact that a new character is added to the team. Cinne is a welcome addition and a possible love interest for Kithe?? It's nice that it's now a foursome because so often in books it's 3 heroes. Cinne is smart and brave and I can't wait to find out more about her.
Anyway, overall Ennara and the Book of Shadows was awesome. It's a magical, adventurous and fantastical read. There's more action than the first and it's packed with a whole plethora of magical creatures. As my 10 year old said when he finished reading it "Even if the main character is a girl, I still really enjoyed it" That's high praise indeed ;)
I received a free copy of this book by the book's publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Another thrilling book is added to the Ennara series and it certainly doesn't stop getting better. Though I must add, before reading this book you really need to read the first book in the series. This sequel follows on from the first Ennara book, Ennara and the Fallen Druid, with the same character you know and love and some exciting new characters too!
Ennara is at school and is as far away from being any professor's favourite pupil as can be. A horrible series of events results in Ennara's expulsion from the school by the High Druid. However, Ennara still has allies within the school and things in the school aren't all they seem. Mysterious artifacts bearing dark magic are disappearing from Galdlan and people are acting suspiciously. Swept up into the chaos once more, Ennara and three friends are enlisted to locate and destroy these dangerous objects. But who is behind all of this? Can Ennara and her friends save everyone before it is too late? You're just going to have to read the book to find out!
This was a stunning sequel to the Ennara books and more than anything, my excitement for the third installment has peaked. I really hope to use these books in school to engage and inspire pupils with reading. These are the kind of books which leave a lasting impression long after reading. As an adult this book was an enthralling read, but for children aged around 8+ it could easily become one of their favourite books!
Well worth a read and highly recommended. 5/5 stars!
This one does not disappoint and gets even better than the last. This time Ennara is learning magic at the academy when things start getting off. She is still not fitting in. Ennara, alongside Gevin and Cinne, will have to find the book of Shadows and destroy it if they want to save their people. Now we get a better look at our heroine, Ennara is a strong female character. The story develops so marvelously that you are trying to navigate the mystery and darkness around as fast as you can in order to see how Ennara and her friends will make it. I highly recommend it. Specially, since it can even be read as a stand alone. Disclaimer: I got a copy from netgalley for my honest review.
*I received a copy of this book from Patchwork Press in exchange for an honest review*
I was really excited about diving back into Ennara's world after reading Ennara and the Fallen Druid not too long ago. I had so many questions, even though the book wrapped up pretty nicely, and Ennara and the Book of Shadows did not disappoint with answers, adventure, and even a cute little romance.
Most of this book is spent with Ennara and her friends trying to figure out why everyone at their school has lost their minds and gone evil. There's a little bit of a fight scene involving a dragon turtle, although I wish we knew more about dragon turtles and some of the other creatures. Because seriously, how cool does a dragon turtle sound! I was also glad that Gevin showed back up, as I was a little concerned that he was missing at the very beginning. Especially because Smoos is back too! I want a marine cat.
Ennara is struggling with her powers, and trying to stick with the light side of magic so that she doesn't bring about darkness for the world. I can totally understand her struggle - darkness comes easy to her, and the light magic is really hard - so I'm glad she has a professor who can kind of push her in the right direction. I did think that choosing a path was a little bit too easy, especially after all of the warnings about how hard it would be, so I kind of wish there was more conflict there.
The Book of Shadows isn't really well explained, and I'm still a little confused about some of it, but that could also be because I missed something while I was reading. I get the gist of it and know it's bad and it needs to be destroyed, but I felt like it was just too easy for Ennara to get rid of it. I mean, I know there's all these fight scenes leading up to and the the dude guarding it is one scary guy, but still.
Don't get me wrong - I am thoroughly enjoying these books! Ennara is a really interesting main character and I'm enjoying watching her grow into her caul powers (although I still have questions about that!), and I love her friendship with Kithe and her budding romance with Gevin and even her new friendship with Cinne. I love that her family is close. I love that everyone trusts her with these grand adventures and rare creatures and that the creatures, who should be scary, help take care of her and her friends. This is a really fun series with lots of great fantasy elements, and I would definitely recommend it to the younger fantasy crowd. Any kid who loves magic and adventure and fantastical creatures will fall in love with Ennara! I'd give this book a 3/5 for me, but will be looking forward to the third book and recommending this to all the MG fantasy readers I can find!
This book is an awesome follow up to the first one. ^_^
It follows Ennara and her friends on their journey after the events on the first book. Even though she most likely saved their world on the first book, powerful magic would always be frowned upon since it can go both ways (in all types of fiction lol). There are good and bad consequences to what happened to them in the last book and Ennara had a really hard time fitting in. This is her story after the newfound power. It's a story about accepting herself as well as what she can do. It's also about her being open to new things and listening more to others. This is a story of friendship, trusting your heart and following the good path. :)
I like that it carried on the action/adventure vibe with an oomph! The characters have more battles here and new msyteries are opened. I love how the magic remained and how the author seem to really connect with a reader like me because I swear I can see Ennara's and the gang's magic in my head. It's all good! I also like that the plot deeped. I think this book is longer than the first one, so there are more details. :)
The love part also remained and it has bloomed! ^_^ I'm kind of happy with the cute pairing.
I also love that many new characters are introduced here. My personal favorite is Cinne. I think in my head, I couldn't erase AKAZUKIN CHACHA (the anime) as their image. Yeah, I know they look like kids in my head, so the introduction of Cinne forced me to let go of that image- not that Akazukin Chacha is not good, it's just that they are kids... small kids- Ennara and her friends are older than them. :)
I adore their new companions (the animals). I like that they seem to be strong for our characters. However, I was always scared about their well being too. I hope that all of them will be okay in the next book.
I totally like how adults are involved in their quest. Their guild (haha!) or group learns a lot from adults and the love that these teens have for them and their entire community fuels their resolve to save the day. See? Pure awesome!
I won't make this longer. Just read it! I recommend this book of course to teens, to you young adults, adults who are young at heart and to those who just want to be entertained with action and adventure.
P.S. Yes, it still feels like I'm reading an RPG game! Amazeballs! ^______^
4.5 fairy wings!! JUST IN TIME FOR THE HALLOWEEN!!!
I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. :)
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this fantastic fantasy from the author via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for this, an honest review on the day I'd finished the first book in the series! The story of Ennara continues, starting over a year after the first book, with her and Kithe now attending the specialist school to develop their magical abilities - somewhat reminiscent of Harry Potter at Hogwarts. Some of the students and teachers don't think she should be there and go out of their way to make her feel unwelcome, making it difficult for her to make friends and work to achieve her full potential. She and Kithe live near to the school with her Aunt and her new husband, whilst most other students board at the school.
Again, like Harry Potter, Ennara has to put up with bullies and tricks being played on her. Sometimes her magic doesn't go quite as planned and the results are described in a hilarious yet empathetic manner. You'll have to read the book yourself to find out just what happens! The story includes a delightful array of magical creatures - good and bad, the return of her other old friend, Gevin, and a new friend, Cinne, who is also talented magically. When evil rears its ugly head, these four need to work together to eliminate it. They have to explore catacombs, fight dragons and all the time work to keep to the way of light and not dark magic in an effort to destroy the evil permeating their world.
Another fantastic fantasy book that older children will delight in. Ennara is a lovely heroine and, working with her three friends, they continue to fight the battle for goodness over evil using their developing magical abilities. Anyone who enjoyed the Harry Potter books is likely to also enjoy this series - I wonder if it, too, will eventually become a film? I hope the next book is published soon so I can find out what happens next as, like the previous book, whilst all prevalent troubles were resolved in this book it was still left on a cliff hanger position to whet your appetite for the next story.
If you haven't read the first book in the series (this is the 2nd), then I highly recommend you start there. Although this book can function as a stand-alone, the background information from the first story makes it much easier to dive into this book.
Ennara finds herself in school but is having troubles being accepted. This sets the book off to a great start as Ennara is tormented by her classmates and ends up accidentally creating a zombie pansy plant. I couldn't help but laugh as she tried to get things under control. And this isn't the only amazing creature. As in book 1, Ennara's world is full of creative, fantasy beings - from scary to humorous.
Of course, there's adventure. Mysterious artifacts have been stolen from the school. She must find them before it's too late and a horrible prophecy comes true. The search includes all sorts of adventurous places and scenes, sure to grab the interest of anyone interested in books similar to Harry Potter and Co.
Ennara isn't alone. She has her true band of friends - wonderful characters - who help her overcome every obstacle. There's even some love interests going on, but these don't run out of control or risk throwing the story into the YA category. It was fun to follow the dynamics between these early teenagers.
Although the story had a little less action than book 1, the plot still remained fast-paced, and I had no trouble reading the entire thing through. I would have liked to have seen a little more character development in regards to Ennara and hope this catches up in the next book.
All in all, I think upper middle grade readers will enjoy it.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is the second book in this series, and while you could read it as a stand alone, I would recommend you cover the previous book first. There is much allusion and detail that would be lost if you did not.
The second installment picks up very soon after the end of the first book. We find our heroes learning how to hone their crafts. We are introduced to some new characters who prove very powerful and helpful for this round of adventure. More magical creatures: dragon, Pegasi, and Griffins as well as some newly invented ones.
This book is a little less dark than the first and moves at a very brisk pace. There is little down time for our group of adventurers here. Again, I would recommend this one for more of a middle grade audience than the beginning chapter book reader just because of some thematic elements.
While this is a wonderfully written fantasy story, there isn't much character development going on. The story advances very linearly and doesn't provide any surprise arcs to be explored in subsequent stories. A very enjoyable read nonetheless but without the substance a second book should have to pull the saga along.
This was better then the last one. The sneak peak looks good for the new one next year. If you enjoyed reading Harry Potter you would enjoy this series. It is not set in our would such as Harry was but it does have young magic works and some that are not. The is a lot of adventure taking place in the book.
Ennara is at school with Kithe but it is not easy like she thought. She is struggling in almost everything and the light park has been there’s hardest. At least one teacher is able to help her when she needed it.
Ennara with her friends, Kithe Fontaine, Gevin Zoric and Cinne Keilmos, they set on a quest of sorts because of everything that happened at school. Ennara is dealing with the lost druid again. He doesn’t seem to want to leave her alone. But maybe at some point he will. I will keep reading this series because it is just that good. It light hearted fun filled adventures.
I liked this book better than the first one. The children are now older - Ennara is 13, and she and Kithe are now at the Academy studying magic. They are not really accepted by the other kids or teachers because they are not rich and royal like the other students, and Ennara is being bullied by some girls. Things begin to go really wrong when Ennara accidentally creates zombie flowers. Then, Gevin arrives to visit and the troubles increase. After fighting a dragon turtle, Ennara and Kithe are expelled from the school - for their own protection. Assisted by Ennara's aunt and uncle, the kids have to help save the school and the country from the evil spells that are controlling the teachers,the Council and the military. There is a lot of action and adventure and a little romance in this second book in the series. I recieved this book free to review from Netgalley.
Heroines in novels are becoming much more popular. YOUNG heroine characters, well developed, well-rounded, and able to take repsonsibility and serving as role models for readers - priceless. Author Angela Myron is able to pull this off and then some in this novel - filled with adventure, resemblances of Harry Potter yet distinct, and the abiity to pop into a series 2 book like this and still be entranced.
True, magic is a major part of this tale, but so are the themes of patience, endurance, perseverance, integrity, and standing up for what yu believe in when many around you fall by the wayside. While at times there are elements of Middle school actions/comments, nothing can take away from the quality that the characters bring to the page. If the rest of this series is as adventurous as this second novel, then you are in for a wild ride!
After a year of training with best friend Kithe at the Academy, Ennara is still an outsider. Not from a royal family, she doesn't fit in. Add to that her seeming lack of ability in her classes and she is frustrated. But once again she is needed to save the people from the curse they are under. They must find and destroy the book of shadows. We are reunited with Gevin and meet a schoolmate Cinne as Ennara learns to control her magic while trying to lift the curse.
A very good middle grade read. I would recommend reading book 1 first though it isn't essential. I found this a better read than book 1. The writing flowed and the story was better.
Full disclosure- I received a copy of the book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Dive into the world of Ennara once more as she is attending school to learn about magic. But soon a couple if accidents and questionable occurrences have the high druid expelling her and then truly begins the journey! I greatly appreciated being able to listen to this book as a continuation from the first book! My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the author!
Ennara and the Book of Shadows by Angela Myron/Angela Shelley is the first book in the Ennara series. I was severely disappointed by the grammatical errors in this book. The story had promise and the characters were well fleshed out, but I just couldn't enjoy the story for all the errors. With some editing, this book could easily be a four star rating. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Ennara and Kithe are admitted to the Magic Academy, where things continue to go wrong and Ennara feels like she doesn't belong. With the help of her friends and Uncle Tork and Aunt Marilias, she begins to undue the black magic invading the Driud council and the academy, then they must go in search of the Book of Shadows.