Thorn has amassed many survival skills to assist him when he leaves home to search for his father who has been declared an outlaw. Thorn uses all of his skills when he is captured by slavers and sold to the Executioner of the Shadow Throne in the nearby kingdom of Gehenna. Tyburn, the Executioner, is tasked with killing those involved with the murder of the royal family. He is a man to be feared and Thorn treats him with respect and gives him his distance. When they arrive at the Shadow Kingdom, he meets the young princess, Lily. With the murder of her parents and her elder brother, it is up to her to rule the Shadow Throne. The Shadow Kingdom embraces all that is dark, from raising the dead to harboring bats. But Lily is quite charming and not at all horribly bleak like her kingdom. She and Thorn immediately become buddies. She needs the support because someone has attempted to kill her twice now and the pair are determined to discover the villain. Lily’s uncle, Pan, insists Lily marry the foppish prince in the next kingdom to better protect their lands. Lily wants nothing to do with the witless prince who harbors a mean streak.
While the characters and plot are formulamatic for the avid fantasy and mystery reader, the story is still fun and engaging. It’s a great fit for the 9 – 13 age bracket.
eGalley review Publication date 4.12.16