I read and reviewed the first book of the series on the blog here
I liked the first book, but not enough to seriously pursue the next few books. Somehow though, I found myself drawn to the collection because I saw the next few hanging out together on my library shelf. I picked them up one after the other and grew to like the series.
Kellen is a son of an influential family with no traces of the magic that he should have. He does have the opposite problem, however, something he finds out almost at the same time as the secrets his people have tried to hide and use to their advantage. He sets off to do the only thing he can: make sense of his purpose in the greater scenario and how to survive when almost everyone he meets wants him dead!
With each book, my reactions were pretty similar. They started off in a decent manner, the ending and the way things happen endeared me to that particular instalment and I read the next in almost quick succession. I have some individual commentary on the three books, which I will list separately below. I would not recommend starting this series in between, because there is no emotional impact unless you see the trials our leading lad has been through.
In this instalment, we see the reality of the new life he’s chosen grow clearer for Kellen. He is an outlaw as the blurb proclaims, but he is still finding his feet with regards to his shadowblack and what this means. The plot here was more intriguing than the emotional turmoil, but the way things turn out at the end, I wanted to know the grander scheme that involved all the pieces we were introduced to.
The previous book left a big task for Kellen and his ragtag group. He is still trying to survive those hunting for him, keeping his squirrel cat from causing too much mayhem and learning something about what he is supposed to be. The story begins as most others do, with our protagonists facing imminent death. The past is coming for Kellen, and he cannot run from it for too long. He trusts easily and too deeply for his own good.
Even if this began the same way as the previous one, the depth here was more pronounced for me. Despite his smart-talking ways, Kellen is a young man unmoored and nothing makes it clearer than this particular story. We get more insight into the concept of a shadowblack, the thought behind the prejudice and the violent opposition his people have had for it.
I do not know if I will get a chance to read the next but I would love a chance to!