By Author / Illustrator
Everything with Words
Paperback / softback
In a dangerous land enslaved by the cruel Regent, where the Dreamers have the magical power to turn dreams into reality, Toby meets Tamurlaine, a strange girl who has lost her memory. To uncover the mystery of her identity and get Toby back home, the pair must go on a thrilling journey to the heart of the kingdom, the castle of the Regent A haunting piece of Gothic magical realism.
Shadow Town is primarily an adventure filled with fantasy and mystery. It is also a powerful thriller with psychological layers which become apparent towards the end of the book, enabling the reader to make connections between the protagonist's real life and the imaginary world he has entered.
The main characters, Toby and Alfred, a neighbour's cat, are living an unhappy real world life when suddenly they find themselves lost in a fantastical and dangerous land. Befriended by the mysterious Tamurlaine, Toby has to overcome many challenges to find his way back home.
Richard Lambert has written a striking novel about a complex and colourful land ruled by a tyrant and populated by many different people. Throughout his journey and despite the unhappiness and complications in his home life, Toby is driven by the need to return to his family. He encounters danger, darkness and threat, hence I'm recommending this read for secondary age students.
380 pages / Reviewed by Ruth Cornish, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 11+