“The Wee Cuppa Cafe was packed with chattering teenagers who had just escaped from nearby Braeside High School. Every seat was taken and the tables were covered with cups, crumbs and scrunched-up napkins. So many backpacks and wet jackets were piled on the floor that Ellie the waitress had to kick them aside with her foot as she bustled over to Sunni Forrest and Blaise Doran’s table.”
Its been a year since Sunni and Blaise found themselves inside the famous work of art, The Mariner’s Return, by Fausto Corvo, talking to the man himself and most people still don’t know what went on inside the painting. Since then they have been hunted by Corvo’s enemy through a time portal in a museum in London and the pair have had to promise not to get involved with any magical elements of art since. However when a spirit photographer turns up in Braeside claiming to have an oil lantern and a box of painted slides belonging to Corvo, they are intrigued enough to be lured into the place where their adventures first began. Once again the pair find themselves within one of Corvo’s artworks, with an enemy in deadly pursuit and they must fight to protect the secrets of the great artist.
It has been exactly two years since I read The Blackhope Enigma, and over 18 months since The Crimson Shard. I loved both equally and needed, longed for, dreamt about, the conclusion of the series ever since. When I found out it was on its way I practically jumped for joy. I was finally going to get to know where those paintings were and see Sunni and Blaise become an item… or was I?
The Shadow Lantern intrigued me, the pair were not an item yet despite sharing a kiss in the last book. They were not allowed to see one another in reality due to Sunni’s stepmum taking a disliking to Blaise and they had not discovered any more about Corvo and the three enchanted paintings. They find out about this ‘Oculus’ which was meant to belong to Corvo and take a closer look, and find themselves on another adventure. I liked this one a lot because there was a lot more about Sunni and Blaise as actual people and not just the adventure they were on. There were a lot of surprises from some characters as well which I really enjoyed.
The use of images peppered through the book excited me a lot but there weren’t as many as I had hoped. I guess this is because they aren’t commonplace in YA books but I would have liked more because the book is completely about art and they were have fit in well.
The book flows so well and whilst it was so long since I read the others in the series I picked up the background easily. I think someone reading this book as a standalone wouldn’t fully understand the back story but they could still happily enjoy the story, yet of course I would always recommend starting at the beginning with it. I think if I was reading the three books back to back there may have been too many reminders about what had happened previously but they wouldn’t get in the way too much.
I really have enjoyed this series and so far have managed to convince at least one person to read the first… hopefully I can convince more because it is a series which isn’t over-hyped yet is fantastic and should be read again and again!
The Shadow Lantern is published today by Templar Publishing. My copy was sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Come back later today for a guest post from author Teresa Flavin.
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