This year has been full of new and diverse reads, and I am happy to announce that this is my first book by an Irish writer and might be the best middle grade / YA I’ve read this year.
Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK for giving me the chance to be one of the first ones to get my hands on the sequel in the magical series.
Even though I have read book 1 and 2 in the Knights of the Borrowed Dark series, I will make sure there will be no spoilers to any of the prequels.
Denizen Hardwick is an orphan, and his life is, well, normal. Sure, in storybooks orphans are rescued from drudgery when they discover they are a wizard or a warrior or a prophesied king. But this is real life—orphans are just kids without parents. At least that’s what Denizen thought. . . .
The story starts in a distant orphanage in a remote Ireland, surrounded by woods and sea. Denizen Hardwick is about to turn 13 years old, reading his books, continuing his routine, not knowing that he soon will become center of weird and magical events.
I must say that when it comes to fantasy, I don’t consider myself an expert, however the list of read fantasy books is growing every month. But for now, the authors usually do not fail to surprise me with the new and creative ways of magic source.
WHAT I LIKED:
1 – 13 years old boy, living in an orphanage, no idea who he really is or what power he might possess. Yes! I am all about “Harry Potter” like novels! However, I must give the author his well-deserved credit, this story was unique and in no way similar to magic schools or Harry Potter like novels which are flooding the markets at the moment.
2 – Its uniqueness and innovative way of magic is also something I absolutely adored! Don’t get me wrong, I will always fall for well-written magic schools, but when the fantasy, besides being fast-paced and incredibly engaging, also presents new ways to see and imagine magic around us, I cannot pass that on!
3 – We know that there is nothing worse than indifference. As the story unraveled in the second book, we were introduced to more and more characters and I must say that none of them is dull or one dimensional. All of them will make you feel something towards them.
4 – The second book starts on a surprising and very interesting note, introducing a whole new dimension within the magic world, an angle that on itself is exciting, scary and very intriguing.
WHAT I DISLIKED:
1 – The word whatever. When you are 13 years old it is probably alright if you say “Whatever” here and there. (I am not 13 and I still do it!) BUT! It felt like a little bit too much and sometimes from the characters I did not ever in my life would expect them to say something like that.
I noticed that I usually pick up on some minor things and they will keep annoying me until the end of the book. Apparently right now I am not fond of the word “whatever”.
Fun fact: Besides the wording issue, my e-book completely swallowed “fl” and “fi” in all words that might have these letter combinations. It was actually fun to find out that “ame” is actually “flame” and “re” is actually “fire”. Which made me notice ALL OF THEM, and now I know that without “fl” and “fi” we would not be able to survive!
⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5
This was a great find within a pool of new YA fantasy series, that I am planning to continue reading, and recommend to all fans of magic schools and magic within mandane, in general.
Let me know in the comments down below if you read this book or are interesting in picking it up. And how exciting it is to have a fantasy novel set place in Dublin, Ireland!