A review by rmarcher
Shadowkeeper, by Hope Ann


Hope Ann’s latest novella is arriving today, and I was privileged to get to read it ahead of time (which in no way affects my review). Shadowkeeper is inspired by the myth of Castor and Pollux and the story of Hades and Persephone, which is awesome in and of itself, but then you add in snarky, stubborn characters whose family means more to them than anything and it becomes even better.

The worldbuilding in this book is wonderful. It’s been good in the other two Hope Ann books I’ve read, too, but I think it most comes through and it’s most clear in Shadowkeeper. I really enjoyed learning more about the magic system she’s created.

I also enjoyed the characters. Cedra is stubborn and fiercely protective of her sister, Pethra, which I loved. It’s rare to find such strong family ties in YA (at least in my experience), so the relationship dynamics between Cedra and Pethra were encouraging to see. The relationship between Death and The Shadowkeeper were also really intriguing, and very well-written. I did have trouble telling Cedra and Pethra apart throughout the book–their names are similar and their voices aren’t especially distinct from each other–but I was able to keep enough of a mental image of each one based on Hope’s character images that I was able to remind myself which was which.

I really enjoyed the plot–it centered around all the sibling dynamics, which I already talked about–and overall the book was a really good read. :)