6 Nov 2018

Review: Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares

'' The Wraith That Walks is cruel and cold, 
He lives among the skies of old.
In night he dwells, in blackness deep,
Outside your room to slowly creep.
He knows just what you've seen and done,
He'll nibble at your bones for fun.
So watch each move and step you make,
Lest next will be the last you take. ''

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
When Ewan Pendle began his second training year at Firedrake Lyceum, he thought it might at least be easier than the first. Now that he knew he was a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who alone can see the real Creatures which inhabit the earth, he hoped things would maybe go a little downhill from here … How wrong he was.

Ewan is summoned by Alice Blazely, the would be assassin who he and his friends Mathilde and Enid helped capture last year, the cunning woman using her final wish after being sentenced to death for her crimes to request a private meeting with Ewan. Alone together in a deep and dank cell, Alice reveals a secret which could turn Ewan’s world upside down – again. Does she hold the answer to deciphering Ewan’s disturbing reoccurring dreams? Can he ever trust the woman who wanted to see him dead?

As if a shocking revelation from a new foe wasn’t enough to handle, Ewan must also tackle a sea monster in the Thames, deal with the evil Rosethorn twins, come face to face with a shadow troll in a London alleyway and bargain with a crafty dragon, and attempt to find a treasure lost for over a thousand years …

As the summer ends, Ewan’s year long initiation into the world of creatures and the Lenitnes is finally over. But it’s then when monsters of all shapes and sizes really do start leaping, clawing and flying at him thick and fast!

The adventure continues after Ewan has spent his summer at Firedrake. The new year brings around challenges for him as their studies as cadets advance into more clique-specific studies.
The second book in the series felt more like a filler in between the first and the upcoming third book. There are some huge revelations up ahead, ones most readers couldn't ever guess. The book revolves more around these secrets, less focusing on the academic subjects. As we are comparing the first and the second books to each other, it comes as a bit of a surprise that Ewan, Mathilde, and Enid's trio is not featured as one as frequently. The focus is set almost solely on Ewan, and the girls' storylines are a bit forgotten.

Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares feels really like a piece of a bigger puzzle. The new info about Ewan's family shifts the focus of the book from the school year to a more personal level. I don't know which direction the series is now going to take since the turn was quite sudden and unexpected. The revelations made were almost monumental of importance and the emotional response from the characters' was close to indifference. This really put a damper on the emotional build-up of the plot.

It's funny, how much I want to get all the best for Ewan. His character has been through a lot of trauma and he still continues onwards. I hope for the upcoming books that there will be more emotional development from all the characters, but especially from Ewan whose life has been turned upside down.

There are a few characters that I sometimes forget that exists. Either they haven't been featured enough or then their appearances have been swept under the rug as not important for the plot development. Now, with this book, I realise that I couldn't connect with most of them, because I first didn't remember at all who they were and with whom they were connected to.

The book left me wanting more. More from the plot, more information about the revealed secrets and how other characters are going to process the newfound truth. And what the things mean in the long run for Ewan?

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