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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
With Shadow of the Darkwood by Andrew Alexander Miller, the Trials of Arden begin. Arden, who had to choose his own name, is the heir to the throne. One day, he makes a new friend, Taril, who is the youngest of three brothers, and usually gets bullied by them. He also does not have a very loving father. It’s just so nice for him when Arden wants Taril to move in with him – finally Taril’s family doesn’t have to deal with him any longer! When the king’s business takes him to Tyare, Arden would like to find the ruins of a lost city in a rather creepy forest. Taril helps him to escape the city unseen, as the king surely would not have allowed such an outing. Soon, the two friends start to understand why only a few people venture this far into the forest.
Shadow of the Darkwood by Andrew Alexander Miller is a decent-sized read, so you’ll be able to truly dive into the world and get to know the characters. It’s not the kind of book you can read in one sitting (at least I couldn’t!). That alone is a plus in my eyes. Too many times have I picked up a book in any kind of “EPIC” genre, just to find that it’s far too short to be anywhere close to epic. I found the story to be interesting, but would have liked it better if it wasn’t going backwards and forwards in time so often. I’d rather have read everything chronologically, but that’s probably just me. Apart from that, it’s an interesting story which makes use of some well-known mythical folk and creatures, the most prominent one among them being Dagon and the elves. There are some exciting sub-plots, and they seamlessly interweave with the main plot to create one very good read that makes one look forward to the second book of the series.