A Review of The Shadow Keeper by Abi Elphinstone
I was recently sent a copy of the newly released 'The Shadow Keeper' by Abi Elphinstone to review and I can honestly say I have struggled to put it down each day.
Following on from the first book in the trilogy, The Dream Snatcher, The Shadow Keeper can also be enjoyed as a story in it's own right.
It started off dark and dramatic and straight away picked up pace to get you immediately into the story. Moll is a gypsy girl with a wildcat called Gryff and they are being hunted by The Shadow Masks who want to capture them in order to destroy both them and the old magic. Moll is trying to destroy the Shadowmasks dark magic by finding the second amulet which holds the soul of her Mother but to do this she has to hide from and battle them and also save herself and her friend Siddy from terrifying smugglers too.
This is genuinely like no other book I have ever read- it is like dipping in to someone else's life and culture- there is magic, both old and dark, there are fortune tellers, medicine made from herbs and messages on the wind and secret codes- it is very different to any book I have ever read before.
There are good people and bad people, plenty to fear and lots to capture your imagination, the way the author sets the scene is fantastic- you feel like you are in the cove that is home to Moll and her tribe and then just chapters later you can really imagine what it must be like to be at the harbor with the smugglers having already twice fought off the dark magic that is trying to destroy Moll and her tribe.
I found the book to be gripping from start to finish, bits of it were very scary and very dark but Abi Elphinstone seems to know just when to stop the really dark bits to leave you wanting to read on without being too terrified to do so.
It takes a little while to warm to Moll who is very independent but this is also a story of friendship and learning how to trust and you do soon start to worry about what will happen to her. The end isn't a 'happy ending' as such but it is a good conclusion to the book and it leaves you well ready for the next book in the trilogy.
I already can't wait for the final book to come out and would highly recommend this book to confident readers age 8 upwards or to enjoy with a parent from age 7 (although perhaps not as a bedtime story if you are easily scared!) You can buy The Shadow Keeper here