Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan, illustrated by Ben Hibon

Published by Disney-Hyperion 

Summary:  Thorn is trying to find his missing father when he is captured and sold into slavery.  He’s rescued by Tyburn, an executioner from the kingdom of Gehenna, a country of darkness and gloom, rumored to be home to zombies and other questionable beings.  13-year-old Lily, a.k.a. Lilith Shadow, is the new queen of Genenna, having come to power when her parents and brother were murdered.  Tyburn has executed five of the bandits who killed the royal family, and is determined to track down the sixth one, whom he believes to be the mastermind and someone who wants to see Lily dead.  When Thorn becomes Tyburn’s squire, he meets Lily and gets drawn into the dangerous world around her.  Together, they experiment with some dark magic and race against time to try to unmask the evildoer whose ultimate goal is to take over Gehenna.  336 pages; grades 4-6.

Pros:  Fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson will enjoy this first entry in a new series featuring young teens learning to use their magical powers to defeat the evil around them.  With lots of adventures, plot twists, and short exciting chapters, this is sure to please fantasy readers.

Cons:  A friendly young character is murdered and there’s a slightly graphic description of Lily’s family’s killings.

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