Wednesday 19 August 2020

Shadow in the Dark - Antony Barone Kolenc - The Harwood Mysteries Book 1

Shadow in the Dark
The Harwood Mysteries Book 1
Antony Barone Kolenc
Loyola Press
ISBN 9780829448108
eISBN 9780829448115

First I need to state that this is an amazing read. And I really look forward to reading the other two volumes as they release. Second I need to state that books with the same titles were released by this author in 2013, those ones were published as a series called The Chronicles of Xan. The author has stated that the books, though carrying the same title are substantially rewritten, tony stated:

“The prior series is entirely overhauled, including new plot lines and new major characters, as well as an entirely different writing style. So, yes, there are major differences.”

So even if you have read the earlier version, it would be worth picking up this version, as it is an excellent read. And if you love this one, wait for the new versions of books 2 and three. But now that you have the back story, back to this specific novel.

This story is historical fiction set in medieval England in 1184. Bandits attack in the middle of the night. A young boy tries to help his father. As he is heading away being chased by a bandit, he was knocked on the head. He wakes up later at the nearby abbey. They give him the name Alexander, Xan for short to use until he regains his memories.

Xan soon realized he has a role to play in figuring out who attached his village, and why. He is working with a young monk. He finds a role protecting the younger children and ends up in conflict with a bully. But underlying it all is his need to figure out who he is, and why God has brought him here. The story has amazing characters. And great attention to detail the research done to situate it historically so well must have been immense. You will find yourself drawn in and immersed in the story.

The book is marketed for Middle grade readers but would also be great for tweens and teens. I am in my fifties and I loved it. An excellently written novel and one that will leave you excited for the next book in the series. Antony ‘Tony’ Barone Kolenc is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps. He currently teaches law. But in this story, he has shown that he has great skill with the quill and ink. And it is a story sure to entertain.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Antony Barone Kolenc:
The Harwood Mysteries:

Shadow in the Dark
The Haunted Cathedral
The Fire of Eden
The Merchant's Curse
Murder at Penwood Manor

Harwood Short Stories:
The Lucy Mysteries:

The Chronicles of Xan:
Shadow in the Dark
The Haunted Cathedral
The Fire of Eden

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