Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Shadow of the Hawk by Curtis Jobling

Series: Wereworld, Book Three
Publisher: Puffin
Format: Paperback
Published: 5th January 2012
Number of Pages: 448
Book: For Review*
Genre: Action-Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller, Suspense, Magic, Horror, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, YA
Recommended Age: 9+
Contains: Violence, Death
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Site: Wereworld Books 

Drew Ferran, the rightful king of Westland, is trapped.
Enslaved by the Goatlord Kesslar, young Werewolf Drew finds himself on the volcanic isle of Scoria, forced to fight in the arena for the Lizardlords.  With the help of an unlikely ally, he must find a way to break free – but who has ever managed to escape?
Meanwhile, Hector the Wereboar flees the forces of the Catlords.  Now on board the pirate ship Maelstrom, the enemy’s net is closing in.  Haunted by the spirits of the dead, Hector is soon left wondering who the true enemy is…

A brave hero, a band of gladiators, an imposter king, a vengeful knight, a world full of Werelords and Wereladies, Wereworld is a place like no other, a world more fantastical and magical than any I’ve read about for a long time…
Drew Ferran, rightful heir to the Westland throne, is a prisoner.  The Goatlord Kesslar has the young Werewolf in his possession, taking him to the land of the Lizardlords.  There, Drew will be forced to fight as a gladiator, and make unlikely alliances in order to escape alive, from a place no one has broken away from before…
Hector the Wereboar, Vega the Sharklord and Werestag Manfred are fleeing from the Catlords, aboard the notorious pirate ship Maelstrom.  But as the spirits haunting Hector grow stronger, he is left wondering whether the true enemy is closer than they thought…
I honestly don’t know what I was expecting when I started this – especially as I haven’t read any of the other books in the series.  A cross between Narnia and Teen Wolf perhaps?  I don’t know.  Most definitely not the fantastical, action-packed, magical, pure awesome book that was Shadow of the Hawk.  From the word go, I was sucked in.  I fell totally and completely in love with the world.  I just could not put it down, in a constant adrenaline rush from start to finish.  I know I have to get my hands on the previous two books in this series: I want back into Lyssia!  ASAP!
Drew Ferran, the last Grey Wolf of Lyssia, was smart, fast and strong, willing to do anything to survive.  I found him proud, kind, good, loyal and giving, with a good heart.  Drew was just really noble: a real king.   His thinking was inspiration and he always spoke his mind.  And while he wasn’t afraid to use violence, he preferred to talk things out.    Drew was a king of old, honourable, brave, defiant and passionate.  And I fell in love with him from the word go!
Baron Hector, Boarlord of Redmire, was haunted by “Vincent-vile”, the spirit of his dead twin.  He really missed Drew, and he had a good heart.  But the black spot on his hand, that grew every time he “dabbles in communing” with spirits, showed that something was wrong...  And the Vincent-vile was just horrible, always saying cruel things.  All he wanted to do was help Drew, but he was truly out of his depth…
Count Vega, a Sharklord, the Pirate Prince.  To start with, I felt Vega was heartless, that he killed too easily.  But soon after, I started swaying, changed by his snarky humour and the care he showed towards his crew and the Weres on it.  And, before long, I had decided that I loved him.  Ok, so he’s a pirate – a Were pirate at that.  But he has a good heart.   He was really rather sweet, in a piratey way.  He soon turned into an unlikely favourite of mine, one I was always happy to see.
Trent Ferran, Drew’s brother, who was in the Lionguard, hunting Drew.  He wanted his brother dead more than anyone…  Of course, as I loved Drew, I instantly hated Trent for hunting Drew down.  But as I saw his reasoning, and what he was like, I grudgingly admitted he wasn’t too bad.  He was quite honourable and very determined.  I think he will come into himself in Book Four, and I’m looking forward to that. 
All the other characters were equally well padded and thought out.  One of the ones I hated most was Count Kesslar, a Goatlord and slaver.  He was a selfish, greedy coward, who I loathed from the moment I met him.  On the other hand, I loved Duke Manfred, the Werestag of Stormdale: he was really level headed, proper and kind, always seeing the good instead of the bad.  The character who creeped me out the most was, without a doubt, Slotha, the Walrus of Tuskun.  She was (to quote from the book): a “notoriously ill tempered, violent woman”.  And her city?  Eek, it came me the creeps, and so did she.  She really was horribly vicious, and the fact she was a Werewalrus made her even scarier.  (If you want to find out more about Slotha, check out Curtis’ guest post on when it comes up tomorrow.)
May I just say, I am in love with this world.  The various Werelords, all the different ‘species’.  The change, the characters: everything was so vivid.  I love the twist Jobling has put on the lycanthropy mythology: silver, shifting…  It was all just so cool!  I loved learning all about the Therianthropes, and meeting the various other characters.  I was over the moon to see Sirens as well – again, I adore the twist!  But: it got better:  Weremammoths.  So cool, right?!  I loved this book, the action, the fantasy, the characters.  And by the end, I was left going crazy for more.  
The action had a huge part in that: it started from the word go, sucking me straight in.  And even though I hadn’t read any of the previous books, I felt… invested.  And I understood everything, all the backstories.  And, blimey, the action was non-stop!  There were the most amazing battle scenes, that really got the old adrenaline flowing.  I loved the action – and I’m not normally one who likes violence.  All reluctant readers could really get into Shadow of the Hawk in my opinion – it’s like a film: I could see everything in my head as I read. 
And that was thanks to the writing: it was just amazing.  It had me totally hooked.  It was lyrical, powerful, descriptive.  I could see everything – every character, every setting, every battle.  And I loved that we got to see into all of the characters’ heads, got to see all the action.  There was never a dull moment.  Throughout the whole book, I wasn’t bored from a millisecond.  This series, this book, this world is so utterly addictive it’s untrue.  I loved every moment, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the other books!
I loved this book, the action, the fantasy, the characters.  By the end, I wanted more, more, more!  In other words:

Star Rating:
4¾ Out of 5 

Read this book if you liked:
Wereworld Series by Curtis Jobling
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
Time Riders by Alex Scarrow
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tokien (Same Epic Fantasy)

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
* This book was received from Puffin in exchange for an honest review
Happy Reading

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