Shadow in the Dark, Harwood Mysteries Book 1, by Antony Kolenc, promises to be an exciting new series of books about 12th century life in England. This inaugural mystery begins at Hardonbury Manor, ruined by bandits; thus, forcing those still alive to traverse to the nearest manor to seek work and shelter. Amid the destruction of Hardonbury Manor, we meet a young man, fleeing from one of the bandits. Yet, he was not lucky enough to escape. As a result, the bludgeoned young man wakes up from a long slumber with a massive head injury. Upon awakening, he cannot remember his name, his parents, or where he was from, let alone where he is now. He looks around and sees men in long robes caring for him, only to find out that they are Benedictine Monks! He is at the neighboring Harwood Abbey.
Brother Andrew, the young man’s caretaker, decides to give the young man a name, at least until his memory returns. He needs to be called something, so Brother Andrew chooses the name, Alexander, after Alexander the Great. He calls him Xan as a nickname. Together, Brother Andrew and Xan, along with Xan’s new friend Lucy, work to solve the mystery of why Xan was hurt and where his parents might be. This sends them and everyone else, living at the Abbey, onto a dangerous path. Will Xan get his memory back? Where are his parents? Are they still alive? What dangers might come to those living at the Abbey? All adventurous-minded souls, who enjoy reading mysteries, will want to traverse with Brother Andrew, Lucy and Xan to solve this mystery.
What I like Best About Shadow in the Dark
Kolenc does an excellent job of transporting the reader back to the 12th century. His use of 12th century language and backdrops set the stage for what will be an awesome adventure for any young teen. The characters are relatable, especially the protagonist, Xan, and his cohort, Lucy. Any young fan, age 10 or above, will find Xan and his story engaging, heartwarming and educational. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in solving mysteries. And the best thing about Shadow in the Dark, is that it is only the first in the series. We can look forward to book 2 coming out on February 1, 2021, titled The Haunted Cathedral. In book 2, we get to solve another mystery with Xan, Lucy and their friends. But, until then, get your copy of Shadow in the Dark here.
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