4 stars (Release date Feb. 28, 2017)
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
This is a fast-paced, fun fantasy read. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book in the series. The story begins in modern day L.A. Ethan, a 14 year old boy, has an over protective mother, girl troubles and a bully problem. Ethan also has a big secret that further complicates his life; he can see and communicate with ghosts. When he slips away from his mother to walk to school for the first time ever, he is suddenly attacked by a flock of ravens. A mysterious man named Bartlett helps him escape but when Ethan returns home, he finds his home ransacked and his mother gone.
Bartlett tells Ethan that his mother has been kidnapped and taken back to Tara, his homeland. Tara is a hidden continent that can only be reached by ship. Bartlett and Ethan arrive on Tara where Ethan discovers a medieval world similar to Ireland. Tara is in chaos. The King has been murdered and Ethan discovers that he is the heir to the throne. Ethan realizes that his mother has been keeping some very big secrets. He is told that his mother has been kidnapped by an evil sorcerer intent on escaping captivity and conquering Tara.
As Ethan comes to grips with his new circumstances, he sets out on a quest to save his mother and thwart the evil sorcerer’s plan. Ethan is aided by a young girl, Lily, who has magical powers of her own and his cousin, Christian, son to the murdered King. Ethan is also surprised to learn that his father, Runyon Cooper, is alive and holds the key to finding his mother. Ethan and company encounter several people and creatures along the way, some that help and others that hinder. As with all quests, not all is as it seems.
The story is a little frantic at times, but overall, is a very entertaining read. The worldbuilding isn’t extensive, but is sufficient to allow the reader to understand Tara and its inhabitants. There are plenty of characters to like and hate, as well as interesting new creatures to discover. While Ethan seems to miraculously have courage, fighting skills, and cunning at the most opportune times, this is easy to overlook if you want to just enjoy the story.
I recommend you read this book.