Secrets of Neverak: A Tale of Light and Shadow Book 2

Book Review, Young Adult Books
Secrets of Neverak: A Tale of Light and Shadow book 2 by Jacob Gowans. Young adult fantasy novel for teens ages 12-18.

The Secrets of Neverak: A Tale of Light and Shadow Book 2 by Jacob Gowans

Age range: 12 and up | Grade level: 7 and up | Genre: Fantasy and magic | Series: A Tale of Light and Shadow #2 | Hardcover: 512 pages | Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing; First Edition edition (July 7, 2015)

 

About 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.

 

Find the Book

Amazon | Goodreads | B&N | Deseret Book

 

About the Author

Jacob Gowans is a resident of Arizona, working as a dentist for the Indian Health Services. He is husband and father to four children. When not working or writing, he enjoys watching sports, reading YA novels or the works of Stephen King, running, and chasing his kids around the house.He was raised in Papillion, Nebraska, lived for two years in Baltimore, and graduated from dental school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

My Thoughts on Secrets of Neverak

I have to mention how much I love the new covers for this series. They are a MUCH better fit for the age group and the story. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here is the old and new cover images for the first book in the series:

While beautifully illustrated and dramatic, the first cover gives the impression of a middle-grade fantasy instead of a young adult fantasy. The new cover is a much better fit.

This is the second installment in the A Tale of Light and Shadow series. While I liked the first book, I completely obsessed over this one. The characters are richly developed, complex individuals with believable flaws, strengths, and faults. They all have their own demons to face and challenges to deal with. Each character’s story intertwines with the others, affecting them whether they know it or not.

The story switches between several third person points of view—which worked well—and the characters grow and change over the course of the book. Along with magic, suspense, and humor, this story has themes of friendship, forgiveness, and overcoming weakness.  I can’t wait to see where this story will take us as it marches onward.

Content: Some violence and innuendo

Book source: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher.

4.5 STARS

 

Discussion Question

What are your thoughts on the old and new covers for the first book? Do you agree with me, or do you prefer the original cover?

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