Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Reviews: "Shadowmagic" and "The Prince of Hazel & Oak"

ShadowmagicShadowmagic: Prince of Hazel and Oak

Author: John Lenahan
ISBN:   1905548923/978-1905548927 (Shadowmagic)
              0007425597/978-0007425594 (Prince of Hazel & Oak)

"Shadowmagic: Prince of Hazel and Oak" is the sequel to "Shadowmagic" by John Lenahan and, despite being aimed at young men, these books appeal to me immensely. Okay, so I haven't actually read the books but listened to the podcasts downloadable from iTunes and Podiobooks, but I am going to buy the books and I am going to give them to friends because I think that John Lenahan knows how to write a rip-roaring tale. Yes, the main character is a bit obnoxious at times, but show me a teenage boy that isn't.

The Shadowmagic series runs at a face pace and is packed with adventure and humour. Both books are set in the land of Tir Na Og where fairies, banshees, pucas, brownies and sentient trees reside and into this world was thrown young Conor, the said Prince of Hazel and Oak, who grew up in the real world not knowing his was the heir to the House of Oak, his father having kept this secret from him all his life in order to protect Conor from his uncle, Cialtie, who was determined to kill him.

In "Shadowmagic: Prince of Hazel and Oak", after making it back to real world from his first adventure in Tir Na Og, Conor finds himself in yet more trouble as the police believe he has murdered his own father who has gone missing. The truth is, Conor's father is mortally ill and so, once again, Conor is hurled back to Tir Na Og, but this time there is a stowaway: the policeman, Brendan, who is determined to see Conor brought to justice. Conor now find himselfs struggling to save his father's life, and save Tir Na Og from Cialtie, with the help of his loyal friends and one confused policeman.

Sure, Conor can be a bit obnoxious at times, but what teenage boy isn't? His friends soon knock it out of him, and the supporting characters are fantastic, loveable at times, and they are what really makes these books a joy. Well ... okay, the storytelling skills of John Lenahan have a lot to do with it and his reading for the podcasts is of exceptional quality for Podiobooks.

Seriously, folks: read "Shadowmagic" and "Shadowmagic: Prince of Hazel and Oak" for a rip-roaring tale of a boy's own adventure in the Otherworld.

Rating: 5/5