169. The Shadow of Malabron

The Shadow of Malabron by Thomas Wharton
The Perilous RealmTrilogy, Book 1

Pages: 385
Finished: Oct. 25, 2008
First Published: August 19, 2008 (Canada, Hardcover) Aug. 4, 2008 (UK & US, paperback)
Genre: children, fantasy
Rating: 4/5
Reason for Reading: Received a Review Copy from Random House Canada. Also qualifies for the Canadian Challenge.

First sentence:

In a chamber high in a tower a young woman sits at a loom, weaving threads of many colours into a tapestry so large that it pools around her feet, half covering the chamber's marble floor.

Comments: This YA fantasy follows the traditional quest format of high fantasy. The story is very intricate and difficult to summarize. A teenager, Will Lightfoot, finds himself suddenly in an alternate dimension. The land of Stories, where all stories are begun and end and continue. He is befriended but soon finds out he is being sought by Malabron, the Night King, who has sent his right hand man, The Angel, and hordes of his minions, demons and strange creatures of the night. Will and a motley group of friends, including a talking wolf who has waited hundreds of years for his arrival, set off to find a portal to send Will back where he belongs.

There are many references to "stories" such as Red Riding Hood, Santa Clause (a toymaker named Father Nicholas), Freya (the Norse goddess of war, battle and many other things). I'm also sure there are probably references that went over my head.

I'll admit the book was a bit hard for me to get into. We are thrown right into this strange new world and must figure things out as we go along. I also found the character of Will not really fully developed. I didn't have any real feelings or concerns for him as a person. But, again I'll admit that at a certain point I became hooked on the plot. It is a very interesting and unique world Wharton has created. I was also pleased that the sub-plot within this series was completely resolved but enjoyed how the book ended with the feeling that there should be another chapter, well lots more chapters and I will certainly read the next book in the series.


  1. I have this at home waiting to be read (possibly recommended by another blogger but I can't quite remember doh). I like the idea of the references to other well known stories and am glad you will be reading the next in the series despite some initial confusion.

  2. When you weave on a tapestry loom, the yarns are held very taut and firm. There is "pooling" on the floor ever. Too bad fantasy writers can't get their word pictures right. Knitting would have created a pool of fabric on the floor.


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