Melanie Au's Reviews > Shadowmagic

Shadowmagic by John Lenahan
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Oct 11, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: boys, adventure, fantasy, ya, series
Read in October, 2011

Conor is sitting in his living room watching TV one day, when two mounted warriors charge in, attempt to kill him with a spear and then take him and his father captive. He wakes up in the ancient magical land of Tir Na Nog -- a world of talking trees, spells, and mythical creatures like banshees and imps. It turns out that his mother, who he believed was dead, is a exiled sorceress (and alive), and his father is a runaway prince of Ti Na Nog. A prophecy has stated that Conor is dangerous to this magical world and, indeed, it seems that everywhere Conor turns, someone is out to get him (particularly his dad's evil brother). Fortunately he finds some allies in a banshee named Fergal, the princess Essa and Araf (an imp) who joins him in his journey to find his parents and the Fillilands, where he will be safe from his attackers.

This book got my attention because a commentator stated that the story was like Percy Jackson being "hurled across the dimensions into Middle Earth"... I think a lot of us are on the lookout for a YA series (or single novel) with the action, humor and good plotlines of Riodan's books, and of course, I decided to give this a try. It does has a fairly light-hearted mood and there are some funny moments (mostly funny thoughts or comments by Conor), but I didn't find the characters or magical world as interesting as the ones in Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. They just didn't have the same intrigue and depth. While the plot doesn't move quite as quickly as Riodan's, it does jump into the action right away -- the book opens with Conor already captured and asking questions about why people are trying to kill him. The story was intriguing at some points, but a bit too predictable for me. More avid readers, and especially those who have read a lot of fantasy, might not find this substantial enough.

All in all, I wouldn't say this is a Percy Jackson equivalent, but reads alright as a light fantasy, and I'd recommend it to those looking for a quick, simple read.
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