Thursday 11 April 2024

Shadows of Truth by Astrid Schotle. Allen & Unwin 2024. YA Fantasy, paperback, RRP $22.99. ISBN 9781761068898

Reviewed by Debra Williams

Shadows of Truth is the sequel to the YA fantasy, League of Liars. It follows the story of several characters (Cayder, Narena, Leta, Jey, Elenora,) after Cayder and his friends stage a dramatic escape from Vardean prison in the world of Telene. Telene is surrounded by a veil and the friends find themselves on the other side, in another world that exists beyond that veil.  

Telene and the other world are dangerously close to being destroyed. This group of friends must work together to prevent an apocalyptic ending, and it relies on the assistance of their enemy, Dr Beuter, who appears to have disappeared. Through determination, grit and dogged persistence, despite severe life-threatening injury to some, they are to push through if they want to return home and save their world. There is betrayal, treachery, lies, misunderstanding and confusion throughout the different relationships, making the solution difficult to resolve. Add to the mix several mysteries which also must be solved, and you have an intriguing tale.

Along the way, they need to overcome the all-powerful wiles of the evil Shadow Queen, who seeks to dominate Telene with her creatures of destruction.

The story is complicated in parts, with the involvement of edem (extra dimension magic), as the chapters alternate from each character’s POV. It is full of dramatic twists and turns, ensuring that the reader is engaged in the plot and characters alike. Even if the reader has not had the benefit of having read League of Liars, the author has woven enough information through the book to inform the reader of the background events leading up to the current story.

This adventure will be enjoyed by those aged 15+ years.

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