Last year, I reviewed the young adult novel A Tale of Light and Shadow by Jacob Gowans. I really enjoyed it and my now 7th grader decided to pick it up to read this past spring. While we were traveling across the country this summer, he asked me if the next book was out yet and could we get it. Just the day before, I had received an email asking if I would review the next book and had thought I’d just pass. I love to read and share about a great book, but doing book reviews can take a chunk of time that I don’t always have. However, this particularly voracious reader was begging me for the next book. Having a book he wanted to read would mean hours spent reading instead of playing video games in the summer), so I couldn’t say no. Neither of us regret that decision.
About A Tale of Light and Shadow: Secrets of Neverak
Henry Vestin always believed that, despite being a carpenter with no training in swordplay or survival, he could lead Isabelle and his friends to safety. He thought he could defy an emperor and protect Isabelle from harm. He was certain that love and friendship would help them survive.
He was wrong.
The second volume in the Tale of Light and Shadow series follows Henry and his friends after the disastrous battle at the Iron Pass. Horrors await the band of travelers in strange new lands. Crippled and broken, Henry must rely on his friends more than ever. 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 relying on only herself to survive. The Emperor moves forward with his plans of conquest, spurred on by the Seer’s dark prophecy, but he has not forgotten those 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.
A Tale of Light and Shadow: Secrets of Neverak is available in both hardback or Kindle editions.
Our Thoughts on A Tale of Light and Shadow: Secrets of Neverak
Okay, if the last sentence of my opening paragraph didn’t hint at it…both my son and I loved this book. He’s now asking me how long until the third book is published. And, I am sort of right there with him feeling a little impatient knowing it might be another year before it is released.
Mr. Gowans might have attended dental school, but his theater background and love of a good story comes through in his writing. I can almost envision a larger storyboard at his house mapping out the over arching plot lines for the series. As you read through the pages, you are not only entertained but get the sense that the story has been well thought out with a decent amount of time given to character development as well.
As in the first novel, there is time spent on more romantic things. There is nothing tawdry about it the romance in this story. Rather, its inclusion indicates the universal need to find someone to love and to love you. Henry has to battle not only his longing to rescue his beloved Isabelle, but also his perfectionism which keeps him crippled both physically and with thoughts of failure.
You also learn more about Henry’s friends, James and Ruther, as their dangerous journey through the Iron Pass unearths each individual’s deep seated fears and feelings of failure. And, there are new characters introduced along the way who promise to have roles in the next novel in this series.
Like the first book, this story is written as a story told by a master storyteller and recorded by a hired scribe for the ages. By then end of this novel, the reader can start guessing as to the identity of that storyteller and an old woman in the audience.
Both my son and I will join other fans who will be eagerly awaiting the release of the next installment in the series.
What is one of your favorite books that you had you longing for the story to continue?