Review: Blackwatch by Jenna Burtenshaw

Title: Blackwatch

Author: Jenna Burtenshaw

Publishing Information: April 1st 2011 by Headline

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal

Series information: Book 2 in the Wintercraft series

Format: Hardcover, 288 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Fans of layered characters and who appreciate a good friendship

Kate has escaped the clutches of the High Council and Silas has left Albion for the continent. But their lives are forever linked and as the veil weakens, causing Albion’s skilled to fear for everyone’s safety, Silas and Kate find themselves drawn together by the mysterious and corrupt Dalliah Grey.

Blackwatch begins with Kate on trial because she has been falsely accused of murdering one of the leaders of the Skilled. Kate learns who she truly can and cannot trust while on trial and she is disheartened to find that those she believed loyal to her, those she risked her life for, are really not as loyal to her as she believed. Kate and Edgar escape from the Skilled into the underground caverns only to be caught by the Blackwatch, the Continent’s most elite warriors. Across the sea, Silas is also being hunted by Blackwatch and it is through Silas and Kate’s blood tie that they are both captured and forced to try both Silas’s patience and Kate’s power.

This story delves deeper into the tie between Silas and Kate and the powers that Kate has inherited as one of the Skilled. One of the reasons I adored Shadowcry was because of how dark it was as a young adult novel, and Blackwatch was no different. Jenna Burtenshaw delves deeper into what the veil represents and how it affects both Kate and Silas as well as how Edgar’s role as Kate’s only confidant will affect her power over the veil. The novel also provides the reader with glimpses into past which assists the reader in understanding both how Wintercraft came to be and how easily one can be consumed by darkness.
A new character, Dalliah Grey was introduced in this novel and she was a nice addition after the absence of Da’ru, though it is still a little unclear if her motives are going to be detrimental to Kate or not. It is no question that she does not have Kate’s best interests at heart and only wants to use her to accomplish her own (less than godly) goals. The shift in POV between Kate and Silas also offers a nice addition so the reader is able to glimpse some of Silas’s inner turmoil as he starts to gain a conscience. That being said, the last few pages of the novel were probably my favorite as they really gave the reader a more solid view on the man that Silas is growing into, no word yet on the romance but one can only hope (okay, pine for.)

Like in Shadowcry, Jenna Burtenshaw uses impeccable descriptions to describe the world Silas and Kate travel through. As I was reading about the caverns underground and the city housed in them I was amazed at how vivid they were in my mind. The climax of the novel was also brilliant in my mind and I found myself feeling a range of emotions as Kate struggled with the situation she was thrown into. I am thrilled to say that my copy of the conclusion to this trilogy, Wintercraft: Legacy, just arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to find out the extent of Kate’s power and Silas’s strength.

This series comes highly recommended!

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