Book: Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith by Shaun Hume
Release Date: October 31st 2012
Tags: Fantasy / Middle Grade / Supernatural
Rating: 3,5 out of 5 stars
Thank you to the author for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
“If you’re suffering from HARRY POTTER withdrawals, then look no further! This detailed, intriguing and touching story is the answer!” – Independent Reviewer
“Hume has a beautiful writing style that creates a whole new world which leaps off the pages.” – artisticbent.org
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.
What drew me to wanting to read this book was the title. White wraith. It appealed to me as it clearly had to do with ghosts or monsters. And I am all aboard for more books like that. This borders more onto middle grade for me as our main character, Ewan, is not quite so old and they are only heading into their first year of this academy.
The synopsis tells us this is for those with Harry Potter withdrawals and I understand why it would say that. It does compare quite to Harry Potter. A strange orphan boy, a foster family who does not want him, names for non-seeing humans. It tries hard to be that book. I don’t think it is or it should want to be. I think this world and potentially this main character could have worked better had it moved away from those things.
The world building isn’t quite as rich as I would have liked it to be. I think there is great potential but I do have a lot of questions regarding Lenitnes and how other humans can’t see monsters. I wish sometimes some things were a little better explained. Even so I think for the target group of middle grade or the very early young adult this is still a solid book and read.
In its whole though I was sucked into this world with the writing and there is still a whole lot to discover. I have a bit of a tidbit with the title as I expected more white wraiths but there was only a bit of that and that story line was very pushed under for the saving the queen story line. It certainly wasn’t wrapped up what happened between Ewan and the white wraith there. I’m very curious to see what role that would play in the next book. Or in Ewan’s life in general. I could appreciate that magic was not the main thing in the academy being taught. There were different aspects like physical fighting also dealt with.
Ewan himself is a bit of an awkward boy, a bit shy at times. He’s not quite used to speaking up for himself. And being the odd one out often, he himself is drawn to the odd ones out like Mathilde and Enid. He has quite the overactive imagination though. I am very curious to see what clique he ends up in the academy. I honestly think he should be in something that he could be a healer. It was interesting to see all the girls around him. You would almost think Ewan was a bit of a chick magnet, haha. But it was great to see so many female characters play a huge role in the main characters life like that.
Both Mathilde and Enid even out Ewan. Enid is so brash and she kicks ass to so many boys which they all deserved. While Mathilde just loves to do her own thing.
Regardless of some of the lesser bits to me, I think this is a good series starter and I can’t wait to see where this moves to.