“If you’re suffering from HARRY POTTER withdrawals, then look no further! This detailed, intriguing and touching story is the answer!” – Independent Reviewer
“An antidote to Post-Potter Depression!” – Independent Reviewer
Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal …
Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real ‘Creatures’ which inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like Ewan, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.
A review copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for a review.
I first wanted to give a huge thanks to the author for providing me a copy of this book! I ended up really enjoying following Ewan, Enid and Mathilde on their adventures at Firedrake Lyceum and look forward to future books to see where the story takes them.
Just to give you all a quick summary, the story opens with Ewan Pendle living with yet another foster family. He has been bounced around homes for most of his life because Ewan has a strange ability- he can see monsters. He has been able to see monsters from a young age but never actually thought they were real until he meets Enola and is recruited to join a school with children like him. Ewan is soon swept up in a world of magic, classes, new friends, scandals and the mysterious White Wraith.
I really enjoyed the complex story line the author built into Ewan’s story and there is a lot of material to build on the story in the future. While the story line in White Wrath was more or less resolved, there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. I want to know more about Ewan’s parents, whether or not his father is still alive, why Ewan has strange dreams and what his connected to the White Wraith is.
The friendship between Ewan, Mathilde and Ewan was fresh and unique and I thoroughly enjoyed following the trio around. I feel like many YA books these days put such a heavy focus on romance as a main plot device and I was pleased to see this plot more centered around friendship, mystery and adventure. Mathilde and Enid were both unique, likable characters with distinct voices. Mathilde often provided comic relief for the group with her spunky attitude, but at the end of the book another side of her character was revealed that made her much more three dimensional. Enid was also quite interesting with her pirate background- I forward to seeing more of her character in future books.
I did feel as if the pacing was a bit off– while I enjoyed some of the classes and details of the story it almost felt a bit too long and packed with unnecessary details. I do wish the climax of the story was a bit earlier, it was crammed into the last 40 pages (of a 500 page book) and it ended up feeling a bit anti-climactic because of this. While I did think the writing was very good, there were too many metaphors and colorful phrases for my liking and it distracted me from the main plot of the story.
While I did thoroughly enjoy this story, I think it is a shame when books are advertised as comparisons to others. It looks like this book is marketed for readers with “Harry Potter withdrawals” and I honestly think that hurts the story. There are aspects of the story that are similar to Harry Potter and I couldn’t help but compare it throughout the story. Harry Potter was a defining series of my childhood and it caused my expectations for this book to be too high. It is of no fault of this book, which is very good in its own right! I just wish readers could form their own opinions about books without these preconceived notions of other series that will be similar.
Despite my issues with the pacing, Ewan’s story is certainly an intriguing one that I think readers will enjoy! Hume set Ewan up to be a great character with a lot of potential growth. If you are looking for a fresh adventure with monsters and a little bit of magic, then you should pick up this book!