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BLACKWATCH by Jenna Burtenshaw

BLACKWATCH

From the Secrets of Wintercraft series, volume 2

By Jenna Burtenshaw

Age Range: 10 - 15

Pub Date: June 26th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-202644-6
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

Amid the backlash from the events of Shadowcry (2011), Kate Winters' and Silas Dane's destinies again become intertwined.

As a traitor on the run, Silas finds a new goal and purpose in rumors of activity from another of Albion's old enemies—fellow immortal Dalliah Grey, who caused the council a great deal of trouble hundreds of years ago. But heading across the sea to the Continent to join up with her proves difficult when Silas runs into an old enemy from his soldier days. In a parallel story line, Kate's allies find refuge among the Skilled, but she finds imprisonment. In learning why they are so resistant to her, she learns more about Wintercraft and how dangerous her bloodline is. Late in the novel, both story lines finally come together when powerful magic jeopardizes the veil between the living and the dead. Kate's story explores more of the history of Albion, the Skilled and the bonemen. By contrast, the Continental setting is underutilized and under-explored, lacking sufficient differentiation from Albion. The characters that inhabit it—such as Silas' rival and foil Bandermain, the elite Blackwatch he commands and the enigmatic Dalliah—make up for the Continent's lack of personality by providing the ambiguity that made Silas so interesting in the first installment.

Fans of Shadowcry (2011) will find the plot improvements satisfying. (Fantasy. 10-15)