Rating: 4.5 of 5
Author: Brad Magnarella
Format: Kindle, Paperback
Trapped for months on his swampland island, Iliff knows he must leave or die. But where to go? As he considers his fate, Iliff notices a creatures hump that emerges and submerges in the surrounding water. Hoping it to be some type of sign, Iliff follows the creature eventually encountering the Fythe – a tribe that have been exiled to the forest after having lost a battle to their bitter enemies – the Garott. Taken in by the Fythe King, Iliff pledges to protect the Fythe and he offers to use his finely honed stone and mortar skills from his years in prison to build a protective wall around their community. But as the wall grows taller, wider, and stronger over the years, Iliff wonders if he is keeping the Garott out or trapping his people and himself in yet another prison.
Brad Magnarella’s “Light and Shadows” picks up where book one – The Prisoner and the Sun – left off and takes readers back into this fascinating fantasy world as well as inside the mind of Iliff who continues to flounder on his journey to the Sun. What I enjoyed most about this chapter in the story was Iliff’s inner struggles questioning his own motivations. Iliff finds ways to rationalize his decisions and behaviors as a way to protect others when in fact they may be more self serving than he would like to admit. The walls he creates are both physical and emotional and one can’t help but wonder if in the quest to protect one’s self from pain both physical and emotional, the cost of losing life’s joys and personal freedom is too high.
This second book starts a little slower than the first, but the speed picks up considerably about a quarter of the way into the story and the climax is perfectly paced leading the door open to the concluding book three. I remain extremely curious where the finale will take Iliff and what the Journey to the Sun will eventually reveal. Bring on the final chapter!
Note: A Complimentary copy of this novel was provided in return for a review.