Rudden, Dave. Knights of the Borrowed Dark. 377 pages. Random House, 2016. $16.99. Violence: PG, Sexual Content: G, Language: PG (9 swears).
Not just another sword book—this time the ultimate weapon is a hammer.
Denizen Hardwick is thirteen-years-old and the last eleven years were spent in a miserable orphanage in Ireland. The orphanage director tells him to pack a bag, his aunt is going to take him for a few days. He didn’t even know he had an aunt. His aunt doesn’t pick him up, but a man named Graham McCarron. On the way to meet his aunt in Dublin, they are attacked by monsters from the shadows. McCarron defeats them. Denizen arrives in headquarters to learn that his aunt is a part of a secret order called the Knights of the Borrowed Dark, and she is the Malleus, or leader, and wields a hammer. Denizen too has power to fight them, but his aunt barely talks to him. She won’t tell him anything about his parents or the secrets of the order. Meanwhile, terrible things are happening at the orphanage and his best friend Simon is hiding. Denizen’s two worlds will collide and he will decide the fates of both.
The pacing is quick and the plot twists are unexpected. Tween and teen boys will love the battles with plenty of guts and glory. Denizen is a likable character whose growth is consistent with the story. There are both strong male and female characters. There are familiar elements to the story, but overall it felt fresh and new. Expect exciting sequels. Recommend to Rick Riordan fans.
EL, MS - ESSENTIAL. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.