Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Released: 4th of October 2018
Kellen and his murderous squirrel cat, Reichis, are on their own. They've heard rumour of a mythical monastery, known as the Ebony Abbey. It's a place that outsiders can never find - but Kellen is getting desperate. He's been told that the monks inside the Ebony Abbey know more about the Shadowblack than anyone else - and that they even know how to cure it.
Then Kellen and Reichis are separated and for the first time, Kellen must face the world alone - and venture deeper into shadow magic than he ever knew he could.
What I Have to Say
This book hurt my heart a lot. For one thing, Kellen started off not knowing if a couple of his friends were dead and we were kept in suspense through most of the book!! I'm not going to tell you which friends or if they survived but it was a really rough ride! I teared up several times. It really reminded me just how much I loved these characters and how much I never want anything bad to happen to any of them ever! Too bad these books are basically about Kellen and his friends suffering through various attempts on their lives!
I've said before how much I adore this series. I've mentioned that Kellen just feels like such a realistic character and how awesome Reichis is (I was gonna say cute but then I thought he might decide to eat my eyeballs if I said that! I'm pretty sure the fact that he's trapped between the pages of a book wouldn't be enough to stop a squirrelcat!). I don't want to keep writing the same post over and over again for each book. But I don't have much else to say really. The books are so amazing and they've kept such a great standard for the whole series. There's only a few series that have been able to maintain the same level of enthusiasm from me for this long.
I think something that did hit me on this retelling was how good the overarching narrative was. I was fortunate enough to meet De Castell at a blogger meet earlier this month and he talked about how Kellen's story is connected very closely to his own feelings of being Canadian and growing older to find out how badly the native Canadian population have been (and still are) treated. I've always liked that it's a story that shows a people who have invaded and basically wiped out the people who owned the lands they inhabit and the fact that it really doesn't shy away from this fact and the horror that Kellen feels to be Jan'tep because of this, but I think that after hearing the author talk about it, it felt more prominent to me. It's a really important subject matter and I'm really glad to see people writing about it when so many people try to forget or hide it.
Do I really need to say go read this series again? What are you waiting for, it's fantastic!?
My thanks go to Netgalley and Hot Key Books for providing me with this copy for review.