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This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Shiloh by Helena Sorensen
Series: Shiloh #1
on April 22, 2013
Source: Author for Review
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(Last Updated On: November 28, 2021)
In a world of perpetual darkness, a boy is born who wields remarkable power over fire. Amos is no more than seven when he kills a Shadow Wolf and becomes a legend in Shiloh. He would be destined for great things were it not for the stories his father tells about a world beyond the Shadow and a time before the Shadow. Only madmen hold to such tales, and in Shiloh, they have always come to bad ends.
Amos is fearless. He walks with easy confidence, certain that the Shadow cannot touch him. Even his family is in awe of him. His father marvels at his skill with the bow, his mother thanks the gods that he has all the courage she lacks, and his sister, Phebe, worships him for saving her from an attack of the Shadow Cats.
On a trip to the village of Emmerich, Amos rescues the Magistrate’s son, Simeon, from the village bullies. Simeon, fair-skinned and pale-eyed like other Dreamers in Shiloh’s history, becomes Amos’s constant companion and dearest friend. Simeon becomes a part of Amos’s family, listening to fireside stories told in a way he’s never heard them before and learning to wield a bow and arrow.
The year the boys turn twelve, they are itching to prove themselves. An impetuous plan to steal a beautiful lantern goes miserably awry, and the lantern’s owner prophecies that Amos will be devoured by the Shadow. For the first time, a seed of fear is planted in Amos’s mind, and when his father is killed by a Shadow Wolf on the last day of the Great Hunt, the fear takes hold. If so great and brave a man as his father could fall to the Shadow, what hope has he?
Amos has survived a Shadow Wolf and even killed it, which happens very rarely. Plus, he did this when he was young. Of course, this makes him pretty spectacular so everyone knows who he is. Amos lives with his mom, Wynn, his father, Abner, and his little sister, Phebe.
Phebe’s face is scarred from a past attack by a Shadow Cat, so of course their parents are a bit overprotective.In Shiloh, we are also introduced to Simeon, who is a dreamer. Being a dreamer is pretty unheard of in Shiloh, so it’s not something to go around telling everyone about. Simeon does his best to make sure that nobody knows.
As soon as Amos saves Simeon from a group of bullies that were picking on him because he was a dreamer, the two become instant friends. Simeon even ends up spending a lot of time at Amos’s house where Abner helps teach the boys how to hunt.
When the boys decide to take part in the Great Hunt, both are so excited. Abner goes with Amos and Simeon gets paired with Orin. Simeon is not too happy about his pairing, but he’ll deal. During the hunt, Amos’s father gets killed by a Shadow Wolf.
Amos is quite shocked by this, because he was the one of the few to actually kill one in the past so he feels as if he could’ve stopped it. How will Amos survive without his father when he’s slowly growing apart from Simeon and the world is still dark?
Shiloh really was a pretty fantastic fantasy novel. I absolutely loved all the stories woven throughout the pages of this glorious book. There were legends and such, so it was really cool to learn about the past of the Shiloh. I could suggest this book on the awesome stories alone, but there’s even more than that! I really had a feeling for the many characters in this book.
My favorite character was Simeon because I felt like he was just so sweet and caring. I also loved how he was a dreamer and that was such a rare gift to have. Amos was also a really great character, because he definitely grew throughout the novel.
The other great thing was the beginning. I loved being introduced to the many characters and seeing how they lived in this village. Oh, and did I mention? I’m a huge fan of little villages in books. I absolutely love it. So when I found that this book had a village, I was ecstatic. It makes me so happy.
I always feel like villages are so close-knit. I didn’t find that this book was fast-paced or too slow, which I really loved.
Shiloh will definitely be a book that I won’t forget about. I may even reread it next year. It was also a pretty quick read, which I really liked. If you’re looking for a quick, fantasy read with fantastic characters and awesome legends, I definitely suggest that you pick up a copy of Shiloh ASAP.
Recommended for fans of:
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright