I’ve long been a fan of Australian author Jason Franks. His previous books, Bloody Waters and Faerie Apocalypse were both weird, but in the best possible way.
Shadowmancy continues the weirdness. It is a dark, dark tale about a boy who goes to wizard school – but this ain’t the wizard school your mama told you about! Learning happens without teaching. Dangerous deals are done. And power is bought in the most cutthroat of marketplaces.
Franks grounds his writing with a sense of place, a visual sensibility enhanced by the illustrations. The pacing is great, the characters vivid, the choices bold.
I’d love to describe the book more, but in some ways to describe it is to ruin the experience of engaging in it. The book does not represent a long read, and I highly recommend going into it as cold as you can, without preconceived notions of what a book about magic schools should be.
As always, Franks delivers! At this point, I’ll pretty much read whatever he produces on spec – no matter what the subject matter.