Knights of the Borrowed Dark – Dave Rudden

In 2016, debut author Dave Rudden won the Irish Children’s Book of the Year for Knights of the Borrowed Dark – the story of an orphan boy who discovers he’s part of a secret order to protect the world against the darkness. This April, The Forever Court continues the story and you can read both. Read  with caution, for once you turn this page you may never trust a bookseller in tweed again.

How do you win a war against shadows?

Knights of the Borrowed Dark – The first book in a new series about an orphan boy who discovers he is part of a secret army that protects the world from a race of shadowy monsters. Denizen Hardwick doesn’t believe in magic – until he’s ambushed by a monster created from shadows and sees it destroyed by a word made of sunlight. That kind of thing can really change your perspective.

Now Denizen is about to discover that there’s a world beyond the one he knows. A world of living darkness where an unseen enemy awaits. Fortunately for humanity, between us and the shadows stand the Knights of the Borrowed Dark. Unfortunately for Denizen, he’s one of them . . .

In The Forever Court, Life is returning to normal for Denizen Hardwick. Well, the new normal, where he has to battle monsters in quiet Dublin bookshops and constantly struggle to contain the new powers he has been given by Mercy, the daughter of the Endless King. But Denizen may need those powers sooner than he thinks – not only are the Tenebrous stirring again but the Order of the Borrowed Dark face a new threat from much closer to home…

My review

The blurb of this story made me very curious, so I was very excited to receive the ARC from Netgalley. The story starts rather fast paced with Denizen, an orphan boy who lives in a orphanage, without knowing who his parents were. You feel sympathy for him and when someone comes to pick him up to bring him to his – suddenly out of nowhere – aunt, you are already second guessing what will be happening.

But as soon as Denizen is picked up by Grey (not his aunt Vivian, she didn’t have time to pick him up), the story starts to get sinister. They are attacked by ‘things’ which are later called the Tenebrous.

The thing is, Dave uses a lot of terminology to describe strange worlds and creatures. But it is a bit too much and too confusing. There is magic, which isn’t called magic. There are dark forces and evil creatures. Maybe I’m just getting too old for Young Adult stories, but I really felt out of touch here. Kind of when my eldest son is explaining the newest apps on his phone: they are probably great, but I don’t understand them and I also don’t understand why I would like to have those on my phone.

So, unfortunately, only two out of five stars from me. Probably I’m just not the target audience.

Publisher: Puffin – Pinguin Random House UK Children’s

Published: April 2017

ISBN: 9780141356617


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