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The Tower of Shadows by Drew Bowling
Cover Artist: John Harris
Review by Harriet Klausner
Del Rey Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0345486706
Date: 26 December, 2006 List Price $19.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Years later Wren's wife is dead and his daughter Kayla is a rebellious teen who sees her father drunk every night. She knows the hidden passageways under her home and is drawn to the library at the castle where she sees a massacre. An assassin finds the magical dagger that can slay demons when the proper ritual is invoked. They were sent there by Corin's brother Cade, who wants to raise a demon and destroy it because it killed his parents. He needs his brother's blood in the ritual but if he is if successful the demons will devastate the land.

With the help of his friends, Wren and Kayla manage to elude and escape those who want them dead, but upon reaching Dale's abode, they learn he is gone trying to have Cade's minions chase him so that will give their allies time to find Corin and keep him safe. Corin has his own plan of what to do about his brother which ends up putting all his allies in danger.

Written when he was a college sophomore, Drew Bowling will bowl over fantasy readers with this terrific sword and sorcery tale that for the most part (except for a dragon battle) have no magical creatures in the storyline. The tale is simplistic in its good vs. evil theme and is easy to follow especially since the audience knows early on who the main players are.

The three teens, Kayla, Adriel and Corin are sometimes wiser than their adult guardians. Wren would rather hide than put his daughter in danger but she believes this quest is honorable and important. She doesn't want to see the land overrun by evil demons who will make it over in their own image. Corin knew nothing about his brother, or how his parents died because his guardians thought he was better off without that information so he could make a new start in a new town with new family. Dale never told his apprentice Adriel what his ultimate destiny would be (guarding Corin) so as a result he feels unsure of his powers.

In the Towers of Shadow, the teens are wise and make better decisions than the adults. Each character is well developed so the reader knows what motivates them and in the end all the protagonists prove worthy and are heroes in the truest sense of the word. Readers will be able to visit this land again because The Coven is still alive and thriving and they are many battles yet to be fought.

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