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Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares

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When Ewan Pendle began his second training year at Firedrake Lyceum, he thought it might at least be easier than the first. Now that he knew he was a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who alone can see the real Creatures which inhabit the earth, he hoped things would maybe go a little downhill from here … How wrong he was.

Ewan is summoned by Alice Blazely, the would be assassin who he and his friends Mathilde and Enid helped capture last year, the cunning woman using her final wish after being sentenced to death for her crimes to request a private meeting with Ewan. Alone together in a deep and dank cell, Alice reveals a secret which could turn Ewan’s world upside down – again. Does she hold the answer to deciphering Ewan’s disturbing reoccurring dreams? Can he ever trust the woman who wanted to see him dead?

As if a shocking revelation from a new foe wasn’t enough to handle, Ewan must also tackle a sea monster in the Thames, deal with the evil Rosethorn twins, come face to face with a shadow troll in a London alleyway and bargain with a crafty dragon, and attempt to find a treasure lost for over a thousand years …

As the summer ends, Ewan’s year long initiation into the world of creatures and the Lenitnes is finally over. But it’s then when monsters of all shapes and sizes really do start leaping, clawing and flying at him thick and fast!

436 pages, ebook

Published October 31, 2018

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About the author

Shaun Hume

12 books9 followers
Shaun is an internationally popular author of several books containing mystery, intrigue, talking primates, girl spies, time travel, suspense, alternate dimensions, hospitals, mystery, teenage warriors and monsters - including the "Ewan Pendle" fantasy adventure series, which has been widely compared to the HARRY POTTER and PERCY JACKSON books. When not writing, Shaun is a filmmaker and photographer, as well as an amateur chandelier hanger and part-time uphill tobogganing enthusiast.

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for Evelina | AvalinahsBooks.
855 reviews443 followers
March 13, 2019
When I first started my journey of following Ewan Pendle on his adventures, I remember giving the first book a half-star "in advance" – because I knew the story would eventually start rolling. Having finished Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares, I am glad to say that I knew what I was saying! The story indeed got rolling – so much so that the first book almost feels like a prequel, or as if it was mostly meant to set the stage for the larger picture to appear. Book two not only answers some really huge questions that we had in book one, but gives us some new ones – not to even talk of the huge plot twists that come our way.

The funny thing about the Ewan Pendle books is that you can only enjoy them together, so to say. That's because the author is playing a long game, and you won't even find out that that's the case until you read book two! After finishing book one, I had so many questions that were left unanswered. The story wrapped up, and some things were left as they were, and to be honest, I found it jarring. I wondered if perhaps the author forgot to explain those things to us? That's why I feel I might have given it a lower rating at the time.

Turns out? Everything was in the plans. Because there are some strings that weren't even mentioned at the end of book one, and yet they suddenly surface in book two and provide some huge twists and story changes! So its not at all that things have been forgotten or neglected. The author simply sees Ewan's story as one big piece, divided into tomes – and not simply several separate books. All these books are going to be like a chapter in the story!

Which is why once I realized this, I started taking mental notes of the hooks that were thrown into book two, and let me tell you – there are a lot of them – I can't wait to find out what they turn out to be!

Come read all the reasons why I liked the book in my full review here, on my blog (triggers included).

I thank the author for giving me a free copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion. Receiving the book for free does not affect my opinion.

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Profile Image for Deborah O'Carroll.
462 reviews94 followers
April 9, 2019
(First posted on my book blog here).

Ewan Pendle is back! I enjoyed the first book in this series (Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith) and I'm pleased to say that this sequel is just as enjoyable, and in fact adds new awesomeness. :D

I love these characters, getting to read more about their adventures, relationships, and interactions, and also their backstories and mysteries. Some questions are answered, while others are hair-raisingly raised -- and there was one reveal in particular at the end that more or less had me jumping up and down going "I KNEW IT! YESSS! :D"

The setting is fun (a hidden academy in modern-day London for people who know about the existence of Creatures and have lessons in things like sword-fighting? And includes an adventure to Scotland? Sign me up!) and I just feel rather at home in this world and at the Firedrake academy and with these characters! (Plus, the fact that the author lives in England, I believe, only makes it that much cooler because I feel like it's authentic!)

The plot hits a good balance between adventure and some slower times to get to breathe and enjoy the characters and mysteries. It's exciting and cozy and fantastical and mysterious all at once, and I love that! It's a bit long (though shorter than the first one), but I felt like it really picked up about a third of the way in! Some errors and typos were minorly distracting, but for the most part I was too busy having a blast to care at all. XD

More awesome things:

• The new (if brief) addition of a suitably dragon-y dragon -- I hope to see more of him in the future! I LOVED how dragon-like he was!
• Adventure that includes an attack by a flaming skeleton wil-o'-the-wisp in a bog in Scotland at night. Can you say exciting?
• Dream world intriguingness! O_O
• Problems like trolls and goblins and the titular Castle of Nightmares -- keeps things interesting!
• Reveals about Ewan and his backstory that have me even MORE curious. :O
• More of our young hero Ewan, Enid the pirate (she's AWESOME), my favorite Rusty who is in it a bit more (hurrah!), Matilde and Max of course (need those loyal friends!), tantalizing hints of Brigid and Betony and Jack Mangrove (NEED MORE!), and of course the mysterious Enola Whitewood! I adore this cast. :D They're awesome and my friends. ^_^

Perfect for fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events (but without the gloom) or Harry Potter (but without the magic, exactly), or for anyone who loves a good acadamy adventure, or an urban fantasy set in modern-day London and Scotland! I feel like all teens would enjoy this, and some of us who are a bit older too and just enjoy a good book. Other than some slightly scary parts, it's suitable for all readers, and is just a blast! ^_^

I was given a free ebook copy of this book from the author (thanks!). I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

A favorite quote:

‘However, for now, your chief task during these dedicated Vanguard sessions will be the taking of notes.’

The enthusiasm in the session suddenly wilted like petunias left in a hot car.

‘Notes? We’re only going to be taking notes?’ moaned Enid, scandalised. Something told Ewan she would have zero qualms about tackling a ferocious Creature with a sword in only her first week as a Grade Two.

‘Oh well there goes my hopes,’ Rusty offered from Ewan’s side, ‘I kind of fancied being thrown headlong into the action, after that rather tame first year.’

‘Tame?’ whispered Rosie Prince, the ends of her short blonde hair fizzing at the mere suggestion, ‘we nearly all got killed by a white wraith!’

‘Ah,’ Rusty replied with blithe nonchalance, ‘there was only one of those. And that wasn’t even during Lyceum hours. It’s like being a detective and going on holiday, init? Someone gets offed in your guesthouse, and everyone else expects you to solve the murder … Then it’s just annoying. The sessions last year were a world class yawn in comparison.’
Profile Image for Kayla Krantz.
Author 57 books712 followers
March 17, 2020
I am so happy to read this sequel. I read the White Wrath (Ewan Pendle #1) and fell in love with the world and characters. The author is in this for the long run, that’s clear by the way that the plots between book one and two weave together like one big book.

Book two is just as fantastic as book one. Some questions I had from book one are answered, a lot of those pertaining to Ewan’s history in particular, and brand new questions new are brought to light. I love the setting with its very Harry Potter like feeling. This book even includes a trip to Scotland. While book one had its own fantastic roster of creatures, book two comes in with its own intriguing beings.

The plot is a good rollercoaster of adventure and respite, allowing us the chance to see how the characters act in the heat of action and when the stakes aren’t so high. I’m excited to see what book number three will bring for these characters. This is a fantastic series for people who love urban fantasy academy stories.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
December 14, 2018
Thank you to author Shaun Hume for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares is a continuation of Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith. It continues a little while after the end of the first book, and starts during Ewan’s Summer vacation, just before he starts his second year. I enjoyed this installment but I also have quite a bit of hesitation towards it. There are a few things that stood out to me, that didn’t work for me.

I think the main thing that didn’t work for me is that I wanted Ewan to show more emotions. He is very inwardly and doesn’t show big emotions despite everything that happens to him. And when it was there like being nervous, it was stated and not shown in the writing which made it lose its impact. There was also the thing where he was apparently completely absorbed in his own thought and not paying attention to school, yet this had no repercussions. At the end however he showed anger and irritation, fitting with his situation and I am glad. I hope that is something that continues on into the next book.

Another thing I had a problem with was the headmaster. She is also his guardian but I don’t feel she actually does anything like being a guardian. Most of the time he rarely sees her. When Ewan sneaks out of school she doesn’t question him at all when he is found and brought back. There is no anger. There is nothing. This is a huge hole for me. Nobody questions it either. And there are a few more like that like the prisoner that wanted contact with Ewan. It is so discarded throughout the rest of the book.

Having said that I do have emotions tied into this book. I do like Ewan. He just tries to do his best. He’s dealt a rotten hand in life for a good portion of his life and I just wish him the best. I wish him his parents. But what happens in this book was not okay regarding that and I hope that Ewan will unleash some of his anger and resentment in the next book. They deserve it. Maybe it is because I’m a mom myself that this makes me feel so strongly but they will never be good parents.

I am very curious to see where this is all going in the next installment. What does Ewan’s middle name have to do with things? Will we see the dragon back (I hope so)? What is Mohan up to?
Profile Image for Jennifer Tooker.
360 reviews11 followers
January 12, 2019
Firedrake Lyceum – Year Two

Full disclosure - I was provided a copy of this book by the author but have voluntarily provided a review. All opinions are my own.

Ewan Pendle and The Castle of Nightmares is the follow-up, Ewan Pendle and The White Wraith by Author Shaun Hume. Having survived his initial year at Firedrake Lyceum, Ewan is eager to be reunited with his friends and get started with his second year of schooling as a Lenitnes cadet. As the second-year cadets return to school, the air is tense with anticipation to see what clique they will be invited to join. For Ewan, Mathilde, and Enid it seems like a stroke of luck to all be placed together in the Vanguard clique, but they have no time to revel in their good fortune as Master Whitewood immediately begins their training. Schooling is not the only thing on Ewan’s mind, however, thanks to a reoccurring nightmare of a young girl trapped in a castle somewhere in the mountains. Could it be that this once thought orphan isn’t an orphan after all? Is the subject of his nightmares a sibling, and why hasn’t Master Whitewood disclosed any of this information to Ewan? All these questions set Ewan down a path that sees him traveling out of the walls of the Lyceum in search of truth, but what he finds may change everything he has ever thought to be true.

I was eager to read the second book in this series and continue the story of Ewan and his friends. Where Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith mainly set the stage and laid the groundwork with the back stories of many of the characters and the Lyceum, The Castle of Nightmares dove right in with the mystery and intrigue. Ewan really has a lot to deal with in this installment. From the nightmares, mysterious meetings with condemned criminals, and impromptu rescue missions to places unknown, it’s a wonder that he had time for classes. Throughout it all, Ewan receives hands-on experience that the classroom could not teach and learns who his true friends are. I was particularly drawn to this series after having been a fan of Harry Potter and while the Ewan Pendle series bears a few similarities this done by design and Hume has crafted a world that will make even the most rabid Potterhead happy, including a few well placed “Easter eggs”. With year two ending, Ewan’s life may be the most confused it has ever been. Once the Lyceum reconvenes for Ewan’s third year of schooling, I expect nothing to be the same and am very much looking forward to seeing how Ewan navigates his new reality.
Profile Image for Salla.
285 reviews15 followers
December 16, 2018
Full Review:

Ewan's second year at Firedrake is about to begin and the new year brings new surprises. The reader gets to know more about the secrets behind Firedrake's history and the revelations about Ewan's family.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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