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Title: Ennara and the Fallen Druid
Author: Angela Myron
Publication Date: July 31, 2014
Synopsis: When a mysterious curse threatens to transform everyone into shadowy demons, a magical eleven year-old girl must travel to a sunken city ruin—fighting pirates, monsters, and an undead sorcerer along the way—to find a weapon that can save her world.
Review: First of all, I really love the cover for this book! I really like how it looks sketched but still very magical, and I like how Ennara is front and center but her two friends have her back. And there's just so much going on that relates to the book, and I definitely appreciate it all more now that I've read it.
Most of this book is a lot of fun - especially the first half. I mean, there are these scary shadespawn creatures trying to suck the life out of everyone and Ennara finds herself going on this dangerous journey to get the one weapon that can defeat them, but it's still fun! There's a pretty decent amount of world-building, especially since Ennara is traveling, and I really enjoyed reading about her reactions to new things, places, and people. The way magic is incorporated into the story is nice too, and I can't wait to find out more about it, especially Ennara's abilities as a caul, in the rest of the series.
I do wish some more of my questions had been answered though. Some things just seemed to be way too convenient, and it kind of threw off the pacing of the book a little bit for me. For example, the way that they stumble across the weapon they've spent 3/4 of the book looking for was just too easy. I felt like there should have been a little bit more there. And then there's the battle with the Fallen Druid. Ennara talks to him one time and then figures out the secret to the shadespawn? I wish there had been more of an explanation or more of her having to do some research or meeting him more often or...something.
I think, as far as the Fallen Druid goes, that the title is a little bit misleading. Sure, he's the reason the shadespawn exist and everything kind of sucks, but he only shows up for maybe two chapters. And then he's done. So maybe "Ennara and the Shadespawn" or "Ennara and the Sunken City" would have been better? I'm not sure, I just really expected more conflict there involving the Fallen Druid.
I would probably recommend this book to a younger audience - especially those around Ennara's age (maybe 9-13?). It's a really cute story that flows pretty well and would be a good read for kids who enjoy reading but haven't yet gotten to a higher reading level. This would have probably been a book I would have enjoyed when I was in middle school. I will definitely be reading the sequel (I have to know what happens to Ennara next, especially since she's gone off to druid school!), and would give this one a 3/5.