DiscoverYoung Adult Fantasy

The Shadows' Apprentice


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An enchanting, thrilling young adult fantasy novel that is full of mystery and adventure with a twist of magic that drives the story's plot.

The Shadows' Apprentice is a unique young adult fantasy novel written by first-time author K. L. Alexander. Alexander loves reading young adult fantasies, epic fantasies, and historical stories and decided to use the inspiration from her favorite authors to create her own magical book. Alexander has created a spellbinding tale that will take your breath away and transport you into the character's universe.

The story begins with a five-year rebellion between the Kingdom of Availa and the Night Emperor, ruler of the Land of Andromendor. The rebels fought against the throne. The Night Emperor defeated the rebel leader Markus in combat, and now everyone is distraught without any leadership or direction. The Andromendor Empire attacked the city, buildings were destroyed, children were sick and hungry, and people ran for their lives. Finally, the empire's flag flies proudly across Availa, replacing the roaring Lion with a black and gold dragon.

The Kingdom of Availa is a monarchy taken over by an Emperor who controls the people, which leads to him creating different factions involving children who were born with a seed of shadow magic. The story's setting is powerful despite the characters fighting for a place in the kingdom. The setting carries some historical touches and reminds me of an era of kings and queens. The story's setting is sensational not only because of the author's creative ideas but the exquisite writing describing what the characters see and the mastery of crafting a magical world within a controlled government.

The reader will explore the story through the story's protagonist Nick, a young boy who is strong and brave as the story's narrative is written in the third person. He has a positive outlook on life and sees an opportunity to turn the new world around. Unfortunately, Nick has been through a lot in a short period of time, including losing his parents and uncle. Luckily, he has his best friend, Kaius, and his cousins, Braawen and Lorcan, by his side. But unfortunately, all of them are captured by the Emperor's guards and taken to an undisclosed place where they are held in cells. They are beaten by the guards and are given little food and water. The authors' word choice and description are spot on. When I read what Nick and the others are experiencing, I can feel their pain, making me feel emotional. Alexander's writing style is very descriptive, which I love because the author includes lots of details so the reader can get a clear and complete idea of what is happening in the character's world.

The story becomes more mysterious when a woman named Lady Adele Jamila Aisha Swan, one of the four council members under the Night Emperor, comes to where Nick and the others are being held captive. Lady Swan and the other council members are seeking talented children to be part of the Emperor's studies. Only the children who pass the tests will have the opportunity for a better life. So what does the Emperor have in plan for the Kingdom of Availa? Nick, Kaius, Braawen, and Lorcan all go through a series of tests. They are asked to stand in the middle of a block that is surrounded by five circles, with strange markings etched on the outer circle. The children are asked to focus on their feelings and to identify if they feel either pressure or a tingle. Based on their sense, the circle will change a particular color. The chosen color will place them in a category based on the strength of their seeded magic. The children who pass the test are transferred to a special school to learn how to use shadow magic. The concept of shadow magic is different, and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the story to learn more. The idea of shadow magic incorporates an air of mystery into the story's plot. It keeps the reader wanting more and trying to figure out what it all means, especially the color the children are given. I am looking forward to learning how Nick can use his gift to become the leader his father wanted him to become.

The Shadows' Apprentice is an enchanting coming-of-age story that keeps your interest with the twist of magic and makes you not want to put the book down. What will Nick discover about the shadow magic and the Equinox house? Can he fight the Emperor and take control of the kingdom? If you are a fan of Cassandra Clare, Veronica Roth, and Kim Richardson, you will love reading K.L. Alexander's debut young adult fantasy novel, The Shadows' Apprentice.

Reviewed by

Hello, my name is Destiny Constantin; I'm 27 years old. A passionate English teacher who enjoys helping students develop their writing skills. I am a content writer for Coffee House Writers. I write young adult fiction and mystery stories. I am also a book blogger for Functionally Fictional.


About the author

Hello Everyone! I have loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember. I love to read YA fantasy, historical novels, and Epic fantasies. However, I'm willing to broaden my usual genres to read amazing stories. Also, I'm currently publishing my first YA Fantasy book. view profile

Published on April 29, 2022

140000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

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