Review Shadow Magic Two The Prince of Hazel and Oak by John Lenahan

Conor is back and finally listeners can find out what happened to him after his stupid choice to go back to the real world instead of stay with his family in the Land. The return trip isn’t roses either as Conor is suspected of murdering his father by police Detective Brenden Fallon. Luckily, Conor and the Scranton cop get sucked back into the magical world of Tir a Nog fairly quickly so you don’t have to spend much time with that nonsense. Conor’s friends and family are excited to see him but Conor’s home coming is short lived. He quickly finds out that his father’s life is in peral and only he can save him. (Ok that’s a bit of a dramatization) Conor leaves on a journey with some old and new friends in attempt to find the one thing that can save his father’s life, if only he can figure out what that is…

PROS: Characters. I love the characters in ShadowMagic. Its hard not to. Even Conor, who I found a bit on the annoying side in the first book, was good. Was there times when he bugged. Absolutely. Still, you can help but love him. Some of the new characters were priceless. Graysea, Brenden, Fau and Spitogg, were all welcome additions to the cast and played their respective roles well. Even though most of them are myhical creatures in some form or another the characters were still easy to emotionally connect with and for me that is the measure of a good character. The story is linear and a bit on the predictable side, but still fun and its not like you see every single twist coming, which is a good thing.

CONS: Opportunities. I think John missed some opportunities with his story telling and the resolution of some of the conflict. Specifically the Turlow conflict. This is a bit of a spolier so stop reading this part if you don’t want to be spoiled. The Turlow turns out to be a bad guy, which I think most people expected. I know I did. However, the resolution of his conflict with Connor really doesn’t happen. The Turlow dies. That is a given, but not before he was confronted and I think that was a shame. It left me wanting very much. I wanted there to be more of a real resolution of that conflict. I also thought that the start of the love triangle between Conor, Essa and Graysea could have been handled better. I think the situation was a little forced and it makes Connor seem like a jerk. The re-writing of the story to work Jesse and Frank too, I wasn’t a fan. It felt a little contrived to me. This is fairly minor I think however.   Those are my chief complaints.

OVERALL: a totally fun story. If you like fantasy AT ALL, you’ll like this follow up novel. The writing is fun and clever. The characters good and the conflict well rounded. There are weaknesses. There is no doubt, but this is an awesome book that I really enjoyed. I think you will too.

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