Published by Tor Books on February 28th 2017
Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.
Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he's ever seen. He's assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnap
ped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.
Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.
Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.
Game of Shadows is the first book in a yuing adult fantasy series by Erika Lewis. I loved Game of Shadows! I found it to be a thrilling fast paced adventure with a wonderful male protagonist. Yes! there is a guy main character! Let us all rejoice for that fact for a moment. This was a great start to what seems like it is going to be a very magical and cool series. I can’t wait for the next book.
Ethan’s world is flipped upside down when he sneaks away from his mom to walk to high school alone for the very first time. Ethan is on the younger side for young adult, so I think this book would appeal to upper middle grade as well as young adult fans. The writing was certainly young adult, but the character could pass for middle grade. Either way, the story and the characters were all excellent. Ethan can see ghosts, which when he is whisked away to the world of Tara, he learns is the mark of being chosen as the next rule. However; Ethan didn’t even know that the land exists. Thrown in some politics and a whirlwind adventure and you have the start to an awesome series.
I loved all the magic in Game of Shadows. There are lots of different creatures and characters to contend with. I can’t wait to see where this series is going to go next. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I am so interested to see how they are going to get themselves out of that situation. I really didn’t see that coming. Overall, this was a fun ans fast paced fantasy adventure. I loved that it features a male main character, and I am super excited for more. I was hooked right from page one, and I could not put this book down. Game of Shadows was a hit for me!
Today Erika Lewis his here to share a deleted scene from Game of Shadows! Thank you so much for being here Erika!
Bartlett paced back and forth in front of the old wooden door. He’d been practicing what he was going to say to his daughter, Maggie, since the day he left, more than fourteen years before. But of course, now, when he needed those perfectly practiced words, Bartlett had forgotten every single one.
The sun was setting behind the large stone house, giving it a warm, disconcerting glow. Captain Bartlett smoothed the front of his coat, combed his beard with his fingers, and then lifted his hand to knock, but his nerves got the better of him. He stood in that position, frozen like a statue, his stomach aching like a child about to be punished.
Even if Maggie is upset, she’ll get over it. I’m her father, after all.
Bartlett sucked in a deep breath and knocked three times pausing between each. The door slowly creaked open, and a boy with a mop of red hair, in a red nightshirt, stood behind it. Bartlett took three steps back and checked the outside of the house to make sure he was at the right one. He was.
“Who are you?” Bartlett grunted.
“Who are you?” the boy mimicked with a scowl.
“Owen, what have I told you about opening the door when Mami or Da isn’t with you?” A tall, thin, redheaded woman in a white dress and a blue apron appeared behind the boy.
Bartlett looked from Owen to Maggie, confused. “You had a child?”
Maggie took one look at Captain Bartlett and slammed the door shut.
Bartlett sighed. “Maggie, please let me in.”
“No!” she shouted.
“I can’t talk to you through a closed door!” Bartlett yelled back.
“You’re going to have to because I’m not opening it,” Maggie retorted.
Exhausted, Bartlett folded his arms over his puffed out chest. “Okay, fine. If this is how you’re going to treat your father, then I’m going back to sleep on the ship.” Bartlett waited for a response, but there was nothing but silence. He pounded on the door, but it still didn’t open. Just like her mother. Redheaded spitfire…
After too many seconds ticked by, Bartlett relented. “I don’t want to go back to the ship. I want to see you. Please, Mags, open the door.”
The door slowly creaked open. Bartlett shuffled inside before she could lock him out again. The little boy was still next to Maggie, glaring up at him. Bartlett ran a hand down his long beard. “I hate to ask, but who’s the father?” Please don’t let it be that good for nothing, Duncan Flynn. Bartlett held his breath.
“Duncan Flynn,” Maggie answered bluntly.
“Oh well, we all make mistakes.” Bartlett didn’t realize he’d said it out loud until Maggie’s jaw dropped.
“Owen, please go back to your room,” Maggie said.
Owen stamped his foot. “I didn’t do anything wrong. He insulted Da. Not me. Shouldn’t he be sent to his room?”
“To bed! Now, young man!” Maggie snapped.
With a last grimace over his shoulder, Owen stormed off toward the back of the house. Maggie turned to Bartlett and shook a finger at him. “Duncan Flynn was not a mistake. The only mistake I made was letting you in the door!”
“Where is Mr. Flynn?” Bartlett asked, glancing around.
“He’s in Coventry.” Maggie shut the front door loudly and came toward him.
Bartlett waved off her tirade and walked into the large open kitchen. His daughter was still the neatest person he’d ever met. Dishes were stacked in an orderly fashion on the tall wooden shelves above the sink. Someone had hung a plaque with vertical pegs next to the shelves that Maggie used to hold clean glasses. A large pot bubbled on the stove and gave off the most wonderful spicy sweet scent, her beef and tomato stew. It looked almost exactly the same as it did before he left. The only difference being the small table had now been replaced by one that could seat eight. His only daughter was married and had a family. Bartlett couldn’t believe how much he’d missed.
Bartlett waved at the table. “How many children do you have?”
Maggie arched an eyebrow. “Five.”
“Five?” He repeated in shock.
“Yes, five,” Maggie said.
“I guess that accounts for the rather large table,” Bartlett mused. “Why didn’t you tell him I was his grandfather?”
“Him? You mean Owen?” Maggie lifted her index finger and poked him in the chest, hard. “I had no idea if you were dead or alive.”
Bartlett took a step back and winced. “Put that thing away.” He shrugged off his coat, wrapped it around the back of a chair, and sat down. “Well, I’m back, so you can tell him who I am.”
Maggie folded her arms over her chest and stared down at him.
Bartlett crossed his legs and rubbed his palm on the top of his pants, hoping he’d skated by and the worst was over. He smiled up at Maggie. “Wow. Married. With five ankle-biters. Been busy haven’t you? How old are the others?”
“Owen has a twin, Ronan.” Maggie said, as she grabbed a glass from a peg, filled it with ale from the cold box. “Danielle is thirteen, Tegan, ten.” She moved to the shelves, taking down a plate and set several pieces of freshly baked bread on it. “And Clare is seven.” She slammed a pint of ale and a loaf of bread on the table in front of the captain.
His lips pressed into a tight smile, Bartlett nodded. “And how is their schooling coming along?”
“Is that small talk? Because I’m too angry for small talk, Father.”
Maggie pulled out the chair next to him and slid into it. She threaded her fingers together, set her hands on the table and let out the breath she’d been holding. “Where have you been? General Niles wouldn’t tell me anything. Although I guessed easily enough you were with Caitríona Makkai,” she said infusing years of hatred into the way she said Caitríona’s name.
When Bartlett didn’t respond, Maggie continued. “You missed out on my wedding, the birth of your grandchildren, and for what? The Makkai monarchy and their flighty princess?”
”Maggie!” Bartlett scolded.
“Don’t Maggie me! I’m not a child! It was always the same thing. She got herself in trouble, and you and General Niles bailed her out. But fourteen years?”
“I’ve been on long assignments before.” He gulped down the rest of his drink and set his glass back on the table as a knock at the door startled them both. Maggie got up from the table to answer it while Bartlett took the opportunity fetched another much needed pint of ale.
Maggie returned with a scroll. She slid into her seat and started to unroll it.
“I’ll take that,” Bartlett said, reaching out.
“It’s for me.” Maggie scanned the parchment with worried eyes. “It’s from Duncan.”
“Why is he in Coventry?” Bartlett stuffed a bit of bread in his mouth.
“He and all the members of Commis are there.”
Bartlett dropped the bread. “Since when did he get a seat with the king’s advisers?”
“Since you left. They asked me to take your place, but with the children…”
“My seat! Well, that is just—“ Bartlett stopped when he saw Maggie’s face fall.
She groaned and crumpled the parchment then dropped her head in her hands.
“What’s wrong, Bit?”
Maggie sniffed, holding back tears. “Bit. I’d forgotten you used to call me that.” Her expression turned serious. “Father, you know the king is dead.”
Bartlett nodded. “Yes. I was made aware.” He broke off a chunk of bread and stuffed it in his mouth to fill it, knowing where this conversation was headed.
“There is no heir. Landover may not survive. No king. Or queen. And no sorceress. It’s only a matter of time before Primland invades. The mist…” Maggie’s voice trailed off as she looked at the crushed paper. Bartlett had never seen her look so tired with worry.
Maggie suddenly looked up at Bartlett, and gasped. “Oh Gods, that’s why you’re back, isn’t it?”
Bartlett held up a hand, trying to calm her. “Hold on, Maggie.”
“I can’t hold on. All of Landover is in a tizzy.” She held up the parchment. “Duncan says people are amassing in Coventry. The city streets are filled with panic. They don’t know who to look to for answers or leadership.”
Bartlett took her hand in his two and gently patted. General Niles was clear. Ethan was to remain a secret until the Council of Kings meeting. “It’s going to be fine, Maggie. Landover will be fine. Trust me.”
“Trust you.” She laughed through her tears. Locking eyes with her father, Maggie wrapped her hands around his. “Father, promise me you won’t leave again. I need you here. My family needs you here.”
He launched an arm over her shoulders and squeezed. “I’m home, Bit. It’s gonna be all right.”
But he wasn’t being honest with her or himself. Caitríona was in grave danger. The Ravens were allied with Fenit Traynor, and were well on their way to the cave of the most dangerous sorcerer in Tara. Should Sawney Bean walk out of that cave, no one was safe.
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