A Tale of Light and Shadow: Secrets of Neverak (Book #2)
by Jacob Gowans
"Horrors await Henry and his friends after the disastrous battle at the Iron Pass. Crippled and broken, Henry must rely on his friends more than ever as they travel through strange new lands. New 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 must rely on only herself to survive. Meanwhile, the Emperor moves forward with his plans of conquest, spurred on by the Seer's dark prophecy--but he has not forgotten who defied him. Return to the world of Atolas, where swords and daggers extend life or end it, where feuds and friendships influence kingdoms and courtships, and where magic is feared by all but a few."
It's always an adventure with Henry, Maggie, Ruther, and James! That Iron Pass must have messed with their values and their minds because they sure started doing some naughty things! I was actually disappointed in how they acted in Borderville. This book picks up and leaves off exactly where the last one ended. It is well written. The descriptions in this book are good. I definitely will not be traveling the Iron Pass any time soon! I like that these characters are not perfect. I like that they struggle with things, because it makes them seem more real. I liked Maggie more at the beginning than I liked Henry, Ruther, or James because she stayed more true to herself. The things that begin happening to her are a little confusing at first. Her first four visions are quite confusing for her and the reader. As bad as I feel for them, I feel equally as bad for Isabelle. She is definitely not in a good spot. Brandol and Atticus surprised me with some of their actions, and the evil Emperor is still just that--evil! I definitely do not want to meet him in a dark alley. If you enjoyed the first book you definitely need to read this one!
There is violence in this book. There are some gruesome fighting scenes, and an execution. Isabelle is a ("intimacy") slave for the Emperor. There isn't any profanity. There are a few value things that are added in this book; for example, gambling and stealing.
Rating: PG-13 (There is violence in this book, including an execution of a character. There isn't any profanity, but Isabelle is a slave (concubine) to the Emperor, and there are discussions and scenes related to that. There is also gambling and stealing, along with holding someone at knife-point.
Recommendation: Young Adult (13-18)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.