Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Book Reviews: A Tale of Light and Shadow, Books 1 and 2, by Jacob Gowans

A Tale of Light and Shadow, by Jacob Gowans
2015, 400p, YA Fantasy
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

Enter Atolas, a world where swords and daggers both extend life and end it, where magic is feared by all but a few, and where feuds and friendships influence kingdoms and courtships. Henry and Isabelle have secretly sworn to marry despite his lowly station as a carpenter, but his devotion to her drives him to commit an unthinkable act that may cost both of them their lives.

At the same time, a secret, dark prophecy has set in motion events that will affect not only them, but the thrones of rulers throughout all of Atolas, threatening to eclipse the world in shadow. But all is not lost while hope remains in the guise of an unlikely hero and the strength of friendship. 

I was hooked on this book from the beginning! Henry and Isabelle are in love but there are forces in play to keep them apart, starting with Isabelle's father. When the Emperor turns his attention to Isabelle, protecting her becomes Henry's focus, so they take off to find safety in another land. Henry and Isabelle are joined by some great characters: Henry's sister, Maggie, Isabelle's brother, James, Henry's childhood friend, Ruther, and Henry's apprentice, Brandol (Henry is a carpenter). I loved their interactions with each other and learning more about the history between some of the characters.

There's love, friendship, betrayal, heartache, adventure and more! The fantasy portion is pretty light so if you don't generally enjoy fantasy, this is a book you'll want to try. It's mainly a story of friendship and love and has lots of character interactions. Once the adventure portion starts, it doesn't let up until the very end, at which point I was glad that I had the second book available to start reading right away! There's so much more that I could say but this is a book you need to read to experience it yourself!

A Tale of Light and Shadow: Secrets of Nevarak, by Jacob Gowans
2015, 512p, YA Fantasy
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

Henry Vestin believed that despite being only a carpenter he could lead Isabelle and their friends to safety. He thought he could defy an emperor and protect Isabelle from harm. He was certain that love and friendship would be enough to survive.

He was wrong.

The Secrets of Neverak follows Henry and his friends after the disastrous battle at the Iron Pass. Horrors await them in strange new lands. Crippled and broken, Henry must rely on his friends more than ever. Allies and foes find them at every turn, but which are friendly and which are deadly? Isabelle, now a slave in Neverak, finds herself surrounded by enemies, uncertain about the fate of her friends, and desperate to escape. The Emperor moves forward with his plans of conquest, spurred on by the Seer's dark prophecy, but he has not forgotten those who defied him.

Return to the world of Atolas, where a blade can extend life or end it, where friendships can topple kingdoms, and where the Path of Light and Shadow is feared by all but a few.

I enjoyed the first book but I loved this one!! Isabelle has been separated from the group so we get her story as well as what's happening with everyone else. There are plenty of trials for all of them. The characters are quite flawed and make plenty of bad decisions. They meet a new character along the way who joins them.

One of the characters is a storyteller and I loved all the stories and connections that are introduced throughout the book. There were times that I thought I might have missed something in one of the stories, but then something would happen later with totally different characters that would fill in the blanks. It will be interesting to see some of the characters come face to face again in the future and see how they will react to each other. It's full of twists and turns and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!

I almost passed on this series because with all the reading I do, taking on 900 pages of reading seemed overwhelming. It sounded so good, though, so I decided to go for it and I'm glad I did. This is a fabulous series!! My only complaint is that the third book isn't out yet. I'm looking forward to reading more!

About The Author

Jacob Gowans was raised in Papillion, Nebraska, graduated with a bachelor's degree in theater studies, and then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he graduated from dental school at Case Western Reserve University. Jacob and his wife and three children live in Arizona, where he works as a dentist for the Indian Health Services.


Unknown said...

The covers are fantastic! Great reviews :)

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