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Shadowmagic [Kindle Edition]

John Lenahan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $6.00 (55%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
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Book Description

A Lord of the Rings for the 21st century. Only a lot shorter. And funnier. And completely different.

Conor thought he was an average teenager. OK, so his father only had one hand, spoke to him in ancient languages and was a bit on the eccentric side but, other than that, life was fairly normal. Until, that is, two Celtic warriors on horseback and wearing full armour appear at his front door and try to kill him. After that, things get pretty weird.

Shadowmagic is a fantasy adventure for young adults (although grown ups will like it too). Written by one of the most popular magicians in the country it brings a fresh approach to the genre and will have a broad appeal beyond the fantasy sections.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7–10—Conor is enjoying his life until the day his aunt shows up on horseback and tries to run him through with a spear. He and his father are carried off to Tir na Nog, where he learns that he is a prince and that nearly everybody he meets wants to kill him. With the help of the mother he has never met, the teen and his dad escape captivity, and Conor begins to learn more about the land he has been brought to and about his uncle's evil plot to destroy it. With the help of two new friends, one who rarely speaks and one who never shuts up, Conor sets out to defeat his uncle and save the ancient Celtic land. Along the way he meets a variety of imps, banshees, leprechauns, and elves—and one very pretty girl who, like so many others, wants him dead. The story moves quickly with a lot of action and humor, but occasionally background information and characterization are sacrificed to the fast-paced plot. Readers will enjoy Conor's romp through Tir na Nog but will not pick up a lot of detail about the mythology surrounding that legendary land. This is a fun tale for readers who are looking for another light fantasy.—Misti Tidman, Boyd County Public Library, Ashland, KY
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Conor’s dad is quite eccentric—he speaks in ancient languages and trains Conor in swordplay—but the 17-year-old never dreamed it was because his father was actually from the land of the ancient Celts. Conor is spirited away to Tir Na Nog, and life suddenly moves at a frantic pace. He meets his mother (a sorceress working in Shadowmagic), befriends an imp and a banshee, and must somehow survive the prophecy of his death long enough to help his dad claim his rightly deserved throne. Though some of the rescues and escapes are almost too easy, they still work, and Lenahan throws in some unforeseen twists. The characters are fully developed and the dialogue witty and full of spunk. With the pace and thrill of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, a sense of place worthy of Narnia itself, and Conor’s dryly humorous first-person narration, this novel is a fast read that will engage reluctant readers. A less-than-tidy ending will have readers begging for more. Grades 7-11. --Melissa Moore

Product Details

  • File Size: 577 KB
  • Print Length: 291 pages
  • Publisher: The Friday Project (August 6, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9EY6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,811 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful tale August 11, 2009
By A Texan
I see I'm not alone here with the recent reviews. Probably like the others, John has put out the word that the sequel to this novel will be coming out soon, and that in itself is great news. But, it made me realize that I never gave any kind of review for the original, which was not available except by import when I got my copy. I'm glad to see that it's available on Amazon now.

This story is a fun and interesting twist on the hero's quest. A boy, Conner, grows up in our world, having never known that it is not truly his home...until that home comes through a portal to try and kill him. This leads Conner to return home with his father and the story races on from there. John brings a wry wit to his story telling that is fun and playful without being bitter. Is it Lord of the Rings? No, this definitely falls to the lighter side. But that's no knock. It is what it sets out to be, a fun adventure tale with characters that will draw you in and that you will enjoy getting to know. You would do yourself well to check it out.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut Novel January 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
His name is Conor and he is 18 years old. He has a girlfriend named Sally, who he likes quite a bit. He goes to high school and for the most part is fairly normal. His father, however, is a bit of an eccentric lunatic and has his son learning ancient Gallic and fencing from a young age. Everything changes the day that Conor and his father got attacked in their living room and were whisked away to Tir na Nog, the mystical land of the ancient Celts, where it turns out Conor's father is the usurped heir to the throne and everybody wants Conor dead because of some prophecy. Well, at least Conor gets to meet his mom!

The Pros: I think the best part of this story are the characters. They aren't overly complex, the story is quite light hearted, but they are likable and you care about them, quite a few of them actually. Conor in his travels in the magical land of Tir na Nog meets some interesting people, the Banshee, Fergul, the Imp, Ararat and lets not forget the girl, Essa, oh don't forget the girl. Even the villain in Shadow Magic is great and just like a villain should be, bad! The story and plot line are pretty basic, conor's father, the rightful king, has a brother, who is a bad bad man. He basically wants to kill everyone. Why, I'm not really sure to be honest, but the reason doesn't seem to be important because he carries out his plan with such single minded efficiency that the reason doesn't really seem to matter. You hate him and thats all you really need. Shadow Magic is fast too a quick read that leaves you satisfied but wanting more (what can I say its a complex emotion).

The Cons: The magic system is a mess. I know its based on gold but I still don't think it was explained very well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Wrong With A Little Magic February 14, 2010
By Trish H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is just a fun, intelligent, frequently funny, occasionally tear-jerking, YA book. If you like young-ish fiction (which I have ever since my first meeting with Robert Heinlein's YA stuff) do yourself a favor and grab this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, looking forward to reading sequel August 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I bought Shadowmagic ($0.99 as I write this review), by John Lenahan, in October '09, I paid $3.40 and considered it a good bargain. At the current sale prices, you should grab this one, fast.

When I saw the sequel was out, I pulled out the first volume and read it thru in just three days (in between doing everything else). The paper edition says it is 288 pages, but they go by in a flash (unlike Lord of the Rings, which the synopsis compares it to). This is young adult fiction, but is entirely enjoyable by adults of any age; there is budding romance (but barely a kiss or two) and the story is told from the point of view of a teenage boy, who is getting ready to go to school, trying to find a good time to ask his dad for a bit more cash to take out a girl, when he answers the door ... only to have people on horseback try to kill him, a weird glow surround him and one of the attackers crumble to dust upon being unhorsed. His day only gets worse, but he quickly adapts to his new surroundings, after breaking free of his captors and finding himself not in the Real World, at all.

The action isn't non-stop (really, could anyone stand to read 200+ pages that were?), as, in addition to a bit of adventure, you get his reaction to the new land, descriptions of what he sees and finds and experiences, as he makes his way. Along that way, he first reacts without thinking, but gradually changes to reaction with forethought (well, as much as a teen can muster, at any rate), growing at least metaphorically during journey. As with most good teen fiction, good triumphs over evil, in the end (at least for the day), but there is also tragedy to provide a bittersweet tinge to the joy of the day.

At the end, you can see the hooks for a sequel are set, but the volume concludes well on it's own (no big cliffhangers to frustrate you if you do decide not to get the second title). For myself, though, I've put the sequel near the top of my TBR list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just wish it could have been a little longer... January 27, 2010
I found a copy of this via iTunes & couldn't help but get it. The premise of the book sounded pretty interesting. Conor thought he was an average 18 year old. All he really wants to do is have fun & go on dates, while trying to avoid his father's attempts to get him into college. It all changes when Conor meets an aunt he never knew he had. And she tries to kill him, claiming that it will save "The Land". From there, he discovers that his father isn't quite who he claims to be & that there's a world beyond the one he knows.

I really enjoyed this book, especially the lush descriptions & interesting characters. During the entire experience I couldn't help but wish that the book would last a little longer so I could see a little more of the land of Tir na Nog & all of the diverse magical creatures that existed within it.

The only main complaint I'd have is that some things seemed to be a little too rushed. Conor's dad & that person (trying not to give a spoiler) seemed to pick up where they left off without a hitch. While I know that they live for a very long time & 18 years wouldn't be much to them, it just didn't exactly ring true to me.

The book's author describes this as something for kids 12 & up, but younger kids can read & enjoy this book- I would just recommend that the parents read it first so they can ensure that it's ok for their kids. There's a lot of violence in it (all kick butt, but I know some parents object to it) & some adult (not that type!) situations such as death, murder & betrayal.

I've heard rumors of a sequel & I honestly hope that the rumors are true- Lenahan is a promising writer & I can't wait to read more from him!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars hit and miss
Hit and miss fantasy novel takes a while to find its feet but stick with it as it kicks into gear for books two and three and they are worth the effort
Published 25 days ago by derek slattery
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
I first found and listened to this book on I have lost track of how many times I have listened to it, and I'm sure I will read it many more times.
Published 5 months ago by Mothwoman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the very best books I've ever read. I hope he writes more like this. AWESOME!!!!!
Published 5 months ago by Harold L Raymond III
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read
The first paragraph had me hooked! Our hero is full of smart remarks that had me laughing out loud. The story is well written, a good plot and a lot of fun to read. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Louise S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun from start to finish
An exciting read, interesting characters and good writing. What more could you want? Oh, audiobook read by the author, a professional illusionist and entertainer with superb... Read more
Published 10 months ago by MontessoriQueen
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy
Well written and a wonderful story, truly a page turner that you won't want to put down. This is the first book in the trilogy
Published 11 months ago by Heather
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply loved it
Thanks John. I have heard this book on Podcast. I simply loved it. I will highly recommend this book, especially the audio books. I have heard and re-heard the books. Such a joy. Read more
Published 11 months ago by sim123
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
A good read for teens and grown ups alike. The author creates a magical land and it`s inhabitants. Enjoyable to the end!
Published 13 months ago by Sue1222
5.0 out of 5 stars John did a great job on this story
This was entertaining and riveting from the beginning. the way he started this book was both interesting and mind blowing all in the first fee pages. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Kevin B. Leigh
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book series!!
I would tell anyone who love Irish mythology and fantasy books because

It has action, romance and comedy all wrapped together! Read more
Published 19 months ago by The Awesome
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