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August 10 , 2009

Under the Shadow of Darkness


A young adult fantasy-romance-drama series full of the kind of zombie-filled action that will keep you turning pages and up late at night. Perfect for middle schoolers, young adults and adults who love magic, magicians, wizards, swords and sorcery. The book is full of drama and comedy, and is the prelude to an intense romantic drama in the following books of the series.

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"In my experience evil is always defeated if we stand, face it and fight it. It is only when we give up that we lose to the darkness."


Bel, a graduate from the Academy of Arts and Magic, takes the final vow of celibacy, sacrificing his love for Shireen in order to be an apprentice. After that traumatic experience, Bel attempts to start his new life as an apprentice under a salty, old, wise-cracking wizard name Nes'egrinon, but everything is not what it seems. Grab hold of the book that readers describe as “the beginning of what looks to be one of those series you can't get enough of.”

While being chosen as an apprentice is exciting for Bel, seeing as not everyone at his school is picked for an apprentice position, he is still hesitant. His new master is one of the most renowned wizards throughout both current and past history, but he has had two apprentices previous to him that were killed under his watch. While the exact causes of their deaths are still uncertain, the mysteries surrounding each of their untimely departures from this world has left Bel skittish and insecure about his current situation. And his mysterious dreams of a one-armed boy fervently warning him about something that he cannot decipher does nothing to calm his fears either.

Immediately young Bel and his magician master are thrust into an adventure when reality is torn open allowing the dead to spill out of the underworld. Bel and his master must journey under the shadow of darkness to try to discover how the fabric of reality has been rent, tearing open a gateway to the underworld and allowing the zombie horde to walk among the living. Who did it and why? Was it intentional? Can they defeat them? Can they close the rift? Can a teenager learning the ways of magic and an ancient sorcerer long past his prime stop the darkness, close the breach and save all reality?

One reader said, “I literally felt like I was journeying with the group into the darkness, remarkably to the point where it was practically tangible.”


When dead, zombie-like creatures start stalking the living, wizard’s apprentice Bel and his magician master are faced with a twofold problem: how do you protect the living by finding the breach in reality, and how do you do find...well...anything when faced with an eternal darkness? With daylight no longer breaking through, Bel and his crabby master are forced along a dark, treacherous journey that tests the limits of their magic, an adventure leading them into the heart of danger, which may kill them all. And if they fail, all of reality may fall with them.

One reader said, “I really enjoyed the way he portrayed the ghouls. I found them both frightening and at times very humorous.”


The book is full of swords and sorcery, but magic doesn't come easy to an apprentice. It requires effort, resourcefulness and sacrifice for the source of all magic is the very light and life of all things. There are good lessons scattered throughout the book, hard choices to be made, and punches are not pulled when it comes to the consequences of evil.


Searching for the source of the tear in reality, magician’s apprentice Bel and the wizard encounter the zombie horde time and time again. These creatures are the living dead and in constant search for human blood. One bite from them will kill. The wizards discover that they must be coming from a breach between their worlds. Under the Shadow of Darkness is the sorcerer’s and his apprentice’s adventurous journey to find and attempt to close this breach so that the sun might return again, the dead will remain dead allowing the living to regain their lives once more.

Bel’s epic saga is very much a hero’s journey of a young apprentice who is thrust into a fantastic battle of good and evil, dark and light on his very first day with his magician master. His quest will take him, his teacher, and a formed class rival through a dark land filled with zombie like creatures.

It is a full world of magic and monsters that any fantasy reader will want to read. The book contains great detail explaining how magic works and the rules that surround it. It's hard NOT to compare fantasy and magic with Harry Potter, especially when you combine it with a teenage apprentice magician, but that is where the comparison ends. It’s a different take on magic where a magician doesn’t have to learn how to cast spells properly but interact with the very forces of life, coaxing them to perform the magic that he or she desires.

Jump into this new magical world full of drama, romance, action and adventure.

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