Shadow Magic by John Lenahan

This is an older book but I had to do a review on it. Couldn’t help myself.

I originally put this up on my Amazon Profile:

I give this story 4 and 1/2 stars. More information on the author’s website

His name is Conor and he is 18 years old. He has a girlfriend named Sally, who he likes quite a bit. He goes to high school and for the most part is fairly normal. His father, however, is a bit of an eccentric lunatic and has his son learning ancient Gallic and fencing from a young age. Everything changes the day that Conor and his father got attacked in their living room and were whisked away to Tir na Nog, the mystical land of the ancient Celts, where it turns out Conor’s father is the usurped heir to the throne and everybody wants Conor dead because of some prophecy. Well, at least Conor gets to meet his mom!

The PROS: I think the best part of this story are the characters. They aren’t overly complex, the story is quite light hearted, but they are likable and you care about them, quite a few of them actually. Conor in his travels in the magical land of Tir na Nog meets some interesting people, the Banshee, Fergul, the Imp, Ararat and lets not forget the girl, Essa, oh don’t forget the girl. Even the villain in Shadow Magic is great and just like a villain should be, bad! The story and plot line are pretty basic, conor’s father, the rightful king, has a brother, who is a bad bad man. He basically wants to kill everyone. Why, I’m not really sure to be honest, but the reason doesn’t seem to be important because he carries out his plan with such single minded efficiency that the reason doesn’t really seem to matter. You hate him and thats all you really need. Shadow Magic is fast too a quick read that leaves you satisfied but wanting more (what can I say its a complex emotion).

The CONS: The magic system is a mess. I know its based on gold but I still don’t think it was explained very well. Luckily it isn’t relied on as much as you might think so the confusion surrounding the magic isn’t as important as it could be. Conor felt a little scattered, he’s 18 with the maturity of a 14 year old and often acts like he was even younger than that. He could be annoying at times. That however, may not be a flaw in the writing because that could have been what the author was going for. The ending felt a little rushed to me as well. Conor makes some decisions at the end that I didn’t really understand and therefore it felt forced. Those are my chief complaints

OVERALL: Shadow Magic is a light hearted trill ride. Confusing at times yes, but at the same time straight forward and engaging. You don’t have to think alot in this book and some of the side elements like the humor and relationship development more than make up for any weaknesses. This fantasy is a bit off the beaten path and if you like stuff like that, you’ll like Shadow Magic.

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