This is the perfect book for teens that enjoy Harry Potter but refuse to pick up the books because they have already seen the movie. Filled with suspense, ample ups and downs, and mysterious creatures that you can’t help but want to know more about Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith is sure to capture the hearts of kids and teens craving escape into a magical world.
Title: Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith
Author: Shaun Hume
Publisher: Popcorn & Rice Publishing
Publication Date: July 31, 2013
Genre: YA Fiction, Fiction, Fantasy
Themes: Friendship, Adventure, Mystery, Magical Schools
My Rating: 3.5/ 5
Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal …
Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real ‘Creatures’ which inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like Ewan, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.
I struggled reviewing this book, not because I didn’t enjoy it (as I did!), but because there are a number of stylistic personal preferences that I had to think hard about including. Ultimately though, this is a fun and engaging read, especially for those craving a world filled with magic, mystery, and a solid group of friends ready and willing to take on the world.
For those like myself who grew up on a steady diet of Harry Potter, the parallels between the texts are obvious – the weird boy plucked from obscurity at the age of 11, sent to a magical boarding school where he is picked on by a select group of students and one teacher in particular, and who works with his two closest friends to solve a mystery of national import that might get them kicked out of school. But, there is just enough Harry Potter meets Game of Thrones with a dash of something completely different that Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith is a fun and fanciful read. And, although I was irked by the similarities, it was those elements that were completely different such as Ewan’s connection with the wraiths, the element of the animal sentinels, and the ghost train that kept me turning the pages.
Personally, I struggled with the stylistic choices and the language throughout. But, as I was humbly reminded by my friendly 11 year old stealer of books, while I personally may not appreciate the frequent repetition of descriptive phrases and flowery language the kids reading the books may (and do) enjoy it. There is no arguing that everything of import is well described, and that the imagery is clear and consistent throughout the text. It is easy to form a clear image of each character, right down to picturing their facial expressions and idiosyncratic ticks.
The story of Ewan Pendle holds much promise for the future, especially if it continues to diverge and develop those elements that are truly unique to it. I am excited to see where this series will go, and will be sure to check back in once the second instalment is available.
Would I recommend this book? Sure thing! I have already passed a copy along to a young man who has adamantly resisted reading Harry Potter because ‘the movies are good enough’ and he seems to be devouring Ewan Pendle and White Wraith quite happily.
Many thanks to Shaun Hume for providing a copy of his text in exchange for an honest review.