I raced through this book in just over a day. Just like the first book in the series, it is fantastic! I highly recommend Mike Shelton’s TruthSpell: The Truthseer Archives Book 2!
The character growth is amazing. Just like the first book each character, although mostly the protagonist, Shaeleen, grows immensely in this book, developing their character. The emotions of the characters are developed a bit more. Now it’s not just seeing the character’s uncertainty, but also seeing their thought process of justifying the actions they feel guilty of or finally achieving understanding. It made the entire story more realistic when Shaeleen’s choice to force a friend to divulge information may have lost her that friendship forever even if her actions were perhaps justifiable.
The action is swift and sure. Shaeleen is a risk taker, and although she has great intentions she seldom plans ahead. She is very good at ricocheting from one danger to another, and keeps her head in each dangerous scene. It’s as soon as she is safe, that she becomes carefree (well almost) and careless again. This is the one frustration to the reader, that Shaeleen is so often separated from her brother, her protector.
The Shadow Stone is a great concept. Evil is not unique, but the Shadowstone wasn’t created for evil purposes. The unintentional birth of the Shadowstone from the powerful people who had all the Stones of Power is a well kept secret and quite a source of danger to the entire world. One can imagine that modern governments would keep this sort of thing as hushed as they could, as well.
Due to the vague and scarce violence, the very appropriate language, and no sexuality beyond a crush, I would recommend this in any middle school classroom or public library. The story can stand alone, or it continues smoothly from the first book. The protagonist is clearly a hero, but her mistakes, fears, and propensity for desiring sweet treats makes her very real and relatable. Her brother is not covered as comprehensively in this book, but his character remains solid. The new characters are a strong supporting cast that many readers would aspire to be like.