Title: The Dark Shadow of Spring (The Young Sorcerers Guild – Book 1
Author: G.L. Breedon
Publisher: Kosmosaic Books
Release: October 7, 2011
Length: 237pages (81,000 words)
Age Group: Young Adult
The Dark Shadow of Spring is another terrific book from GL Breedon, perfect for younger teens who like a good dose of adventure, mystery and awesome superpowers. Move over Harry Potter, here comes Alex Ravenstar.
The story begins when thirteen year old Alex and his friends in The Young Sorcerer’s Guild visit a dragon that foretells destinies, no easy feat considering that he lives in a deep cave protected with booby traps and if you wake him up too much, instead of telling you your destiny, he’ll blast you with a stream of dragon fire. Alex manages to hear his shocking destiny before the guild’s arch (and rather stupid) enemies, who followed them into the cave, wake the dragon and all hell breaks loose.
Chased by an angry dragon, Alex run down the mountain, falls into a hole and is rescued hours later by a rather charming Centur called Victoria. Although they don’t know it at the time, Alex’s fall has broken the seal on one of the entrances to the Shadow Wraith’s prison, an evil force that was cast from this world and imprisoned in another realm at the end of a war fought long before living memory.
Strange things start happening in the secluded magical town of Runewood, streets suddenly cluttered with thousands of dead birds, a plague of malevolent insects, ghosts arising in the town cemetery, demons haunting the woods of the White Forest and as Alex and his friends try to solve the mystery of what’s behind the occurrences, he discovers that he is a rare breed, a soul mage with powerful magic and a long history of reincarnations that battle against the Shadow Wraith. Once again it’s up to him to defeat it, helped by his friends in the Young Sorcerer’s Guild. But will his powers have developed enough for him to do it before the Wraith enslaves the townsfolk?
I really enjoyed this book, especially the descriptions of the soul magic and the scene when Alex’s parent’s showed their true power. I’d like to see more of that in future books. The only thing that bothered me was a plot hole around the Shadow Wraith’s minion. When Alex and his friends went to seal off the cave, it was outside the cave, herding enslaved townspeople towards the town to attack it. What happened to it? Why did they not get rid of it first? Was it part of the wraith or separate from it?
Apart from that little hitch, which others might not notice, it was a great read. I recommend it to all young lovers of fantasy. It’s one of those books that is particularly excellent for boys, but also has great female characters and the well developed relationships that girl readers enjoy. I give it 4 stars.