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Reviewed by Robin Goodfellow for Readers' Favorite
In Dawn of the Reaper: The Chronicles of Evernight Book 1 by Paul F. McGowan a mother manages to escape a monster that threatens to destroy her child. She places the child in the care of two strangers, before whispering words of love to him and then dying. Fifteen years later, Rowan is the apprentice to Archibald, an accomplished sorcerer who owns a shop called The Wand and Scroll. One day, he and his friend, Sydney, accompany Archibald to Evernight, a city where the King resides. When Rowan wins a magical tournament, he catches the eye of a man named Cyrus, who attempts to kill him. Rowan must now embark on a journey to determine just how to stop Cyrus, as well as reclaim a past that was once lost to him.
Dawn of the Reaper by Paul F. McGowan is a fantastical coming-of-age story about a young boy who discovers his origins and righting the tragedy of the past. I found Rowan’s character endearing. While I was confused as to just how much he knew about his family, he was, overall, a nice boy with an incredible talent for magic. Still, like any other adolescent, he longs for adventure, and wants to be some place where he can explore with his friend, Sydney. He was raised in a loving home, and despite his talent, he’s still humble enough to care for anyone he meets. He truly is noble in that sense, falling in line with the age-old trope that kind people possess a powerful lineage that could defy all odds. It’s a bit of a well-worn theme, but heartwarming nonetheless. An enjoyable read for YA fantasy fans with more books to come as this is the first in the series.