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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

From the Shadows of the Owl Queen's Court (Yarnsworld #4) review


Official Author Website
Order From the Shadows of the Owl Queen's Court over HERE(USA) or HERE(UK)


AUTHOR INFORMATION: Benedict Patrick is from a small town in Northern Ireland called Banbridge, but has been living and working in Scotland since he moved there at the age of eighteen. Tragically, that was quite a while ago.

He has been writing for most of his life, and has been reading for pretty much all of it (with help from mum and dad at the beginning). Benedict's life changed when a substitute primary school teacher read his class part of The Hobbit and later loaned him the book – he fell in love with the fantasy genre and never looked back.

FORMAT: Self-published by the author on September 26, 2018 From the Shadows of the Owl Queen's Court is 312 pages long. Cover design by Jenny Zemanek.

REVIEW: Benedict Patrick writes peculiar books, and From the Shadows of the Owl's Queen Court is no different. It's a deliciously dark fairy tale with an eerie atmosphere and engaging plot. Accompanied by the story's protagonists, we venture into the Magpie King's realm. The creatures of the forest are dangerous and malicious, and the new Magpie King is half mad half the time. Instead of protecting people, he terrifies them.

His son, Bradan, wants to help people. His intentions are noble and clean, and yet the Magpie Spirit won't give him the power he so desires. There are other entities ready to fulfil his wishes, but everything comes at a price. 

Nascha's a servant in the castle of the Owl Queen. Her Knack – the innate magical gift most of the Owlfolk develop at puberty – is for cleaning. She's a true master of scrubbing kitchen floors. Not the most impressive Knack ever, but quite useful. But here's the thing - Nascha's hair is white, the colour reserved for witches. 

After Owl Queen's death, Nascha finds herself sentenced to death. She runs with Foxfolk just to run away from them soon after. Bradan's and Nascha's paths will cross and the end-result will change the forest forever.

Mysteries abound and nothing is what it seems. As usually, tales within tales give a broader context to the plot and characters' choices.

From the Shadows of the Owl's Quee Court takes place in a complex, richly designed world with a substantial history and mythology behind it. The book is rich in the elements of standard fantasy (like magic, the chosen/special one) but takes them in different directions. 

Characters are multi-faceted and well developed, with none of them ever either too saintly or unbelievably villainous. The author wisely avoids a simplistic good-vs-evil struggle. Delving deeper into the Yarnsworld mythology was an adventure of its own. New entities appear, namely a terrifyingly fascinating Lady of the Forest ready to claim her rights or Gentleman Fox and his dark secrets. 

The only negatives to the novel would be the slightly confusing beginning and the fact that all conversations are rather similar to each other in terms of wordage used. 

From the Shadows of the Owl's Queen Court is a highly engaging fantasy novel that not only provides good entertainment, it also offers a thoughtful plot that engages the mind and the heart.

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