Enter Atolas, a world where swords and daggers both extend life and end it, where magic is feared by all but a few, and where feuds and friendships influence kingdoms and courtships. Henry and Isabelle have secretly sworn to marry despite his lowly station as a carpenter, but his devotion to her drives him to commit an unthinkable act that may cost both of them their lives.
At the same time, a secret, dark prophecy has set in motion events that will affect not only them, but the thrones of rulers throughout all of Atolas, threatening to eclipse the world in shadow. But all is not lost while hope remains in the guise of an unlikely hero and the strength of friendship.
|Publisher:||Shadow Mountain Publishing|
|Series:||A Tale of Light and Shadow Series , #1|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Lexile:||790L (what's this?)|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
About the Author
Jacob Gowans was raised in Papillion, Nebraska, graduated with a bachelor's degree in theater studies, and then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he graduated from dental school at Case Western Reserve University. Jacob and his wife and three children live in Arizona, where he works as a dentist for the Indian Health Services.
Read an Excerpt
Isabelle was barely able to see what was happening as her sight dimmed. She saw the monk's robe behind the Emperor's chair, and realized that the flash of light was the reflection of the candles on a sword--a sword pressed against the Emperor's neck.
"Move an inch, and I'll slit your throat," Henry's voice ordered from beneath the hood.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Tale of Light and Shadow allows the reader to become familiar with its characters, their background, and plight before jumping into a crazy and dangerous journey. With distinct characters, an engaging plot, a fantasy world where not all or who are as they seem, it was a story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked these characters. They each had different roles and played them well. I liked Maggie, James, and Henry the most, but also, somewhat begrudgingly, Ruther. They each had their own merits and some of them grew on me as the story progressed. I also had this hope that they would all do as they should and make it to their intended destination without being captured or losing their lives. I have to also give notice to some other characters who were so very well drawn. The Emperor Krallick from neighboring Neverak was a cunning, manipulative, and strong adversary. Then there was the King of Blithmore who was somewhat deceiving in appearing less than he was, but a good king. General Attikus was another strong character and one that I feel will play an important role as the series progresses. He will have to decide what he is willing to do for a corrupt monarch. Then there is the mystery of magic that I know some of the characters possess, but hide. There are a few trinkets that also play some sort of role that I'm unsure of. They are just hinted to in the story as the characters flee for their lives versus a very determined opposition. The pace is steadily intense from about a third of the book on and ends leading nicely into the second book. The only drawbacks I had were that the characters acted younger and less confident in some parts than I thought they would and that some things didn't quite make sense to me realistically. I also didn't like a couple of the characters at some points. These were relatively of small concern though, as the story picked up and developed in places. By the end I was entranced with the story and happy that I had the second book just waiting for me to pick up. I would recommend A Tale of Light and Shadow to fantasy readers, both YA, NA, and adult. It is the beginning to a promising series and one that will only get deeper and more dangerous as it carries on. Content: Clean Source: I would like to thank Shadow Mountain for my complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way.
The cover for this book is somewhat misleading. It has the appearance of an action packed middle grade fantasy with lots of magic and scary creatures, but this book is mostly a love story. It's about Henry and Isabelle and their desperate wish to get married, in spite of everything working against them. While there are some suspenseful scenes in the book, it mainly focuses on the power of friendship, forgiveness, and love. Once I adjusted my expectations, I liked the story a lot. A Tale of Light and Shadow is more young adult than middle grade, but kids as young as ten could read and enjoy it. There isn't any offensive content, but there is some non-descriptive violence. The story is told from various points of view, in third person, which creates a different experience for the reader. The author pulled it off fairly well and the book didn't have any major hiccups. Some parts got a little slow, but I appreciated the character building that happened during those times. Content: Non-descriptive violence Source: I received a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
4 stars I enjoyed reading A Tale of Light and Shadow. I was expecting more of the fantasy angle to the story. It hints at it. The dark prophecy I might have missed it if it was mentioned besides the back cover. Their is more to the story than this first book. It is easy to follow and want more of these characters in the future. The characters are easy to like. Henry, Isabelle, Ruther, Maggie and James all went to school together. Henry, and Maggie's mother taught them. Henry and Isabelle fell in love. Isabelle was from a noble family that had little wealth left. Her father thought the Vestins were not in his class. He forbid them to see each other let alone marry. Henry Vestin is a carpenter. A very good one. His sister is Maggie. His best friend is Ruther. Maggie Vestin is a good friend to Isabelle. She and Ruther are always fighting. She does some interesting things that I want to know more about her. Ruther is a trouble maker, a drunk, a story teller. A good friend. James is Maggie's brother. He has been away with the King's guard. Hints at something in his past. Isabelle's father is the first bad guy in the story. He does not think much of his daughter. He wants wealth but a more powerful family. Their is more bad guys that you want to see defeated. They are all on a run to escape with their lives most of the book. The journey that they are not very prepared for. I was disappointed when the book ended. I wanted more of it. I hope the next book comes soon. The setting is Atolas with Kings, Emperors. It has armies with swords, transportation is horses or carriages. I got lost in the story. I liked Jacob Gowan's writing style. This is the first book of his that I have read but I already picked up another book. I did read his novella The Fool and The Dragonox. It is a short story that is before A Tale of Light and Shadow. It was free at Amazon. I was given a copy of A Tale of Light and Shadow to read so I could give a honest review of it and join it's blog tour.