AS THE SHADOW RISES by Katy Rose Pool. Review.

AS THE SHADOW RISES by Katy Rose Pool.

Orbit Books. p/b. £9.99.

Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins.

Ephyra is determined to find the relic that may save her sister and finally put to rest the terrible need to use her Grace. Beru chose to leave rather than face any more suffering at her sister’s hand, and in her absence Ephyra knows that following in her father’s footsteps is her only option – if he chose to pursue Eleazar’s Chalice then it must hold the answer.

It is one week since Beru, the revenant, left her sister. One week that has brought her to this unpleasant town, her strength waning by the day and death drawing closer. A shock discovery delivers the very man who set her on this path in the first place. She will learn how Hector, the disgraced Paladin, is bonded to her in many more ways than she could have imagined.

Jude, Keeper of the World, faces a tribunal for breaking his Paladin Oath. It will decide his fate and the fate of a friend he holds dear. The Order of the Last Light believes Anton is the Prophet but for Anton the answers may lie in the prophecies that did not come true. Meanwhile Hassan has uncovered some painful truths and now Witnesses are about to take away another Graced child.

Continuing the Age of Darkness trilogy from where the last book left off, As the Shadow Rises picks up the narrative, this time spending much of the page time with Anton and his developing relationship with Jude. Beru and Hector learn more about the connection between them and for the Pale Hand, finding Eleazar’s Chalice begins to seem slightly more achievable as the various plotlines progress.

As with contemporary YA fantasy fiction, the focus on relationships and the characters’ emotional journeys take centre stage in driving the story onward, with worldbuilding and background detail filling in nicely where required to locate each strand of the action. The pace is good, allowing plenty of time to digest key events without stalling. Overall, another very readable tale.