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Under the Shadow of Darkness: book 1 of the Apprentice Series Paperback – February 24, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
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Laced with signature Cardona humor ... hard choices to be made... and a few handy life's lessons ... at the sharp end of the bloodthirsty undead hordes' teeth, which certainly keeps his motivation and the overall pace of the book at a rollicking clip. ...A most worthwhile read.
Marc Secchia, author of The Pygmy Dragon and the Shapeshifter Dragons series (goodreads.com)
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Top customer reviews
I enjoyed 'Under the Shadow of Darkness' as a young adult fantasy novel. The characters were interesting. I liked the main character Bel. I thought he was believable and seemed to...more I was excited when the author contacted me to receive a copy of his book in return for an honest review. I have read his two other young adult novels, Santa Claus vs the Aliens, and Gabriella and Dr.Duggan's Secret Dimensional Transport Machine and enjoyed those, so I expected to be just as entertained with this novel.
I enjoyed 'Under the Shadow of Darkness' as a young adult fantasy novel. The characters were interesting. I liked the main character Bel. I thought he was believable and seemed to represent the ‘everyman’ type of person. He came from humble beginnings and is trying to make his way in the world. He thinks he can do more than he is really capable of, he makes mistakes, but then he learns from them. Of all the characters I think I liked this character the best. I didn’t much care for Kerlith through the story until the end when he was humbled some when his master was turned into a ghoul. At that point he showed some humanity and vulnerability in not wanting to abandon his master. Otherwise to that point he was just the typical bully, arrogant jerk character. The main wizard Nes'egrinon was a bit frustrating to me. He is revealed to be 400+ years old and one of the most powerful and well-known wizards of all time. Throughout the story though he shows a lot of uncertainty and says 'I don't know' a lot to questions asked of him by his apprentice. Perhaps though that is to show that although he is an all-powerful wizard, he is just a man after all and doesn't have all of the answers.
From reading ‘Santa Claus vs the Aliens’ and the first Gabriella book, as well as understanding the author's religious studies educational background, I have come to understand how the author ends his books. So, I found the ending of “Under the Shadow of Darkness” very appropriate for the story as well as for the message the author wants to deliver.
I look forward to the next release of the Apprentice Series books to see what is next in store for Bel, Kerlith, and Nes'egrinon.
I am enjoying his current projects that are related to this book and will wait impatiently for the next installment.
It's hard NOT to compare fantasy and magic with Harry Potter, especially when you combine it with a teenage apprentice magician, but that is where the comparison ends. Apprentice Bel has to work alongside his rival Kerlith, all while proving himself to his new master Nes'egrinon and being thrust into a creepy life-threatening situation. Unsure of who he can trust, and not quite on his feet regarding his own power, not to mention having some mistakes in his past and embarrassing moments that he just can't shake, Bel moves forward sometimes doing the right thing and sometimes blundering, as all teenagers do.
Cardona includes some applicable life lessons and attitudes as well as humor, in an adventure that has me excited about where the Apprentice Series is headed!
Just as in life at any time, it is sometimes difficult to know who you can trust and what is causing the ripples.
It is also a tale of friendship and self discovery. "Every First Year knows this."
"There is a big difference between being told to memorize something and knowing it."
This wonderful adventure novel will appeal to all ages. There may be some dark moments that squeemish may find uncomfortable, but there truly is nothing offensive in this tale.
This is a tale about finding one's strengths and calling upon what is aleady inside of yourself.
Overall this adventure is a fun read. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.
Kerlith and Bel met at the Academy of Arts and Magic. They started out the same year, but Bel was held back and did not graduate with his class. Kerlith delights in causing Bel discomfort. There is a strong competitive nature between them. After graduation Kerlith was apprenticed to a stone mage.
Bel is assigned to a wood mage to complete his education. Bel's master has only had two apprentices before and neither survived to complete his training. Bel is quite nervous about his own fate, especially when a darkness envelops the entire land.
I did receive a copy in exchange for my honest opinions and review.
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I really enjoyed this story and look forward to future installments of this...Read more