Sunday, October 29, 2017

Review: Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly

Shadow Weaver, Book One
by MarcyKate Connolly
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Middle Grade Fantasy

JANUARY 2017!!!

The shadows that surround us aren’t always as they seem…

Emmeline has grown up with a gift. Since the time she was a baby she has been able to control shadows. And her only friend and companion is her own shadow, Dar.

Disaster strikes when a noble family visits their home and offers to take Emmeline away and cure her of magic. Desperate not to lose her shadows, she turns to Dar who proposes a deal: Dar will change the noble’s mind, if Emmeline will help her become flesh as she once was. Emmeline agrees but the next morning the man in charge is in a coma and all that the witness saw was a long shadow with no one nearby to cast it. Scared to face punishment, Emmeline and Dar run away.

With the noble’s guards on her trail, Emmeline’s only hope of clearing her name is to escape capture and perform the ritual that will set Dar free. But Emmeline’s not sure she can trust Dar anymore, and it’s hard to keep secrets from someone who can never leave your side.

The first in a dark middle-grade fantasy duology, MarcyKate Connolly weaves a tale filled with shadows, danger, and magic that has the feel of a new classic.


Emmeline is a little different than most girls—she can communicate with shadows. Her best friend, Dar, happens to be a shadow too. Odd thing is, most shadows don't talk and form friendships. Dar loves to play tricks on people, which gets Emmeline into trouble. Especially when a noble comes to take her away, and her parents allow it. Not only is Emmeline sure the nobles are up to no good, but she begins to doubt that she can trust her best friend.

This is a lovely middle grade read. There's tons of fantasy, danger, mystery and lots of secrets to unveil. And at the center of it all is Emmeline, a girl who doesn't really fit in and has a heart of gold. The tale grabs from the first page, sucking in with the mystery surrounding Emmeline and her shadow. The danger constantly hangs like a thick fog, growing in tension as the plot progresses. While some of the evil is clear, there's enough mystery around Dar to bring unease. Even during the first pages, Dar sits on a difficult edge. She's somewhat sympathetic because she does care for Emmeline and is her only friend. But even young readers will have the first threads of doubt glide in at Dar's pranks.

There's a lot to enjoy in these pages, and it definitely holds everything it needs for a fast paced, mysterious adventure. There's a little creepiness, making it great for friends of slightly darker reads. Kids, especially girls, ages 9 and up who love fantasy and tension are sure to enjoy every page.

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