Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction, Uncategorized

BOOK REVIEW: The Book of Shadows by E.R. Murray

Short Review

E.R.Murray delivers an action packed follow up to her Nine Lives Trilogy book 1 ‘The Book of Learning’ with the breathtakingly brilliant ‘The Book of Shadows’. We journey with Ebony again as she tries to continue her quest, but this time there are more baddies, more adventure, more gadgets, more fabulous characters and well more of everything that was so great in the first book. This is a real quest, an adventure that grabs you and doesn’t let go, pulling you along for the ride of your life, whether you want to or not!

Books you may also like that share a similar theme; The Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs, Who let the Gods Out series by Maz EvansThe Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling and Tin by Padraig Kenny.

Long Review

The Book of Shadows as mentioned above is a fabulous follow up to E.R.Murray’s first offering ‘The Book of Learning‘ in every way. The story is more complex, the adventures are more dangerous, the choices and decisions that Ebony has to face are more difficult and also problematic, there are the introductions to new characters and also new lands and crazy new worlds.

The complexity of the story in The Book of Shadows is stunningly brilliant but never leaves the reader thinking what the heck is going on? With book one as a foundation Murray deftly develops this strange and peculiar world with artistic brilliance and shows her skills as a masterful raconteur – giving the reader exactly what they want from a sequel, everything is bigger, badder and better – although you have to go some to beat the first book, which Murray achieves does achieve with The Book of Shadows.

‘The marching sound grew louder and clearer. Ebony listened for a moment, and Icarus stood stock still, one ear cocked. Without warning, he yanked Ebony back towards the free blob of tree. She let out a small squeak of surprise and Icarus quickly covered her mouth with his hand. As the noise grew louder still, Ebony realised that she didn’t need to go looking for the Shadow Walkers – they were coming their way.’

Splicing in elements of mythical and mystical wonderment Murray has set these books on a pedestal, sitting right next to the fabulous Harry Potter series – her work is so rich that I would find it impossible for children and reluctant readers not to find these books engaging, thrilling and a joy to read. Every page is a frame of pure magic, giving audiences an opportunity to enjoy and delight in, whilst also taking this journey with the ever brilliant Ebony Smart, who is so superbly written I feel like she is a friend of mine.

Ebony Smart has had a lot going on, the book is set two months after she saved herself and The Order of the Nine Lives from Zach Stone and the quite evil and sinister Judge Ambrose – but they are out there lurking and skulking in the shadows waiting for their time to strike, and strike they will. The choices that Ebony must make in The Book of Shadows will change the course of history, they will change her, so is she willing to make these difficult choices? You need to dive in to find out!

We previously reviewed ‘The Book of Learning‘ here – so please do check that out. This should be the next series of books you buy for your child/ren – remember reading is good for you, and these are like food for the soul – quite literally!

The Book of Shadows is a powder keg of adventure, magic and wonderment waiting to explode – a book, series and author we highly recommend for your little ones to enjoy and also for any adults who love a damn good story.

The Book of Shadows is available to purchase from Mercier Press here.



er_murrayElizabeth Rose Murray’s debut novel, ‘The Book of Learning – Nine Lives Trilogy 1’, was chosen as the 2016 Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read for Children, and the follow-up, ‘The Book of Shadows – Nine Lives Trilogy 2’ was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. Based in West Cork, Elizabeth has had poetry and short stories published in journals and anthologies across the UK, Ireland, Australia and America. Her stories have been shortlisted in several competitions and broadcast on radio. Her first novel for young adults, ‘Caramel Hearts’, was published in May 2016.

Reviewed by Ross Jeffery

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