The Shadow Keeper
UK Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Other books in the series:
Book #1 - The Dreamsnatcher
Moll Pecksniff and her friends are living as outlaws in a secret cave by the sea, desperate to stay hidden from the Shadowmasks. But further along the coast lies the Amulet of Truth, the only thing powerful enough to force the Shadowmasks back and contain their dark magic. So, together with Gryff, the wildcat that’s always by her side, and her best friends Alfie and Sid, Moll must sneak past smugglers, outwit mer creatures and crack secret codes to save the Old Magic.
With more at stake than ever before and the dark magic rising fast, can Moll and her friends stop the Shadowmasks before it’s too late?
The second instalment in Abi Elphinstones amazing dream snatcher series, this was a book I simply couldn't put down. Full of magic and friendship, the story puts some unique twists onto old tales and fully captured my imagination. I absolutely loved it!
After defeating the first group of shadowmasks, Moll and her friends must now battle an even scarier and more powerful trio of witch doctors. Determined to destroy the old magic of the forest, the witchdoctors use their dark magic to hunt Moll down, intending to kill her before she can reach the second Amulet. But when a rough and tough group of smugglers join in the search — determined to take the amulets wealth for themselves — Moll and her friends must use every bit of cunning available to make sure they get there first. But can they arrive in time…
My favourite thing about this book is its heroine, Moll. She is brave and spunky, hard-headed and without doubt, the toughest gyspy Tomboy around. In this book the challenges she faces really helps to develop her as a character and I liked that we got to see a more vulnerable side of her. The part that loves her friends and family and is a real softy behind her tough exterior.
As always Moll’s wild-cat, Gryff accompanied her wherever she went - and I liked that he got a bigger role in this story. His connection to Moll as her protector and friend melts my heart - and he really endured a lot throughout this story.
Otherwise I really enjoyed all the characters. Molls oldest friend Siddy also got more page time - he also developed a courageous side and his wise words really raised him in my esteem. He went from the timid best friend to the solid glue that keeps everyone together and moving forward. I also adored that his pet got upgraded from an earth worm (porridge the second) to a timid crab (hermit the first).
Alfie of course completes the trio of friends. His story came as a real surprise, with lots of plot twists and… ok, no spoilers, but I’m now desperate to read book three to see whats in store for Alfie next.
Of course the motley band of characters that make up Moll’s family of gypsies were in there too - humorous and loveable as ever. This book also saw the addition of some new characters - Scrap particularly deserves an honourable mention for she was amazing in her silent, miming way.
The plot is dramatic and fast paced. Something huge seemed to happen at the end of every chapter, and there were some elements of the story I really enjoyed. Golden Soles - something I’m sure was inspired by the little mermaid tale. Creatures such as Kelpies and the souls of drowned sailors, talking lighthouses … every page was full of magic and folklore.
The villains were also kicked up a notch. Nefarious smugglers and powerful witch doctors with their dark voodoo magic. One scene really sticks in my mind since it really creeped me out (I’m sure you’ll know what one when you read it), all I can say is that Abi Elphinstone really has a talent for creating atmosphere in her prose.
All in all there was nothing about this book that I didn't enjoy - except maybe the end - but only because I don't have the next book in which to continue the story.
I give the Shadow Keeper 5 stars!
What about you? Have any of you guys read this series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments :)