Arias Archer & the Shadow Cloak: (Dark Fantasy for Children) by Hamzah Malik is a well-plotted fantasy with a well-imagined world and a novel concept, a story that features an equally lovable protagonist. On the eve of her thirteenth birthday, Kara’s soul leaves her body. But Arias will stop at nothing to find her, and that means stepping beyond the boundary of the world as he has known it into the dreaded Falasia — the dwelling place of lost souls. The stakes are stacked against Arias and when he finds out that the evil king Kazzabus has the sinister plan of stitching Kara into a cloak made of broken souls, he becomes more desperate. But can enlisting the help from Sakundra — the leader of the rebel group in Falasia —help him save Kara from a cruel fate? As the tension escalates, Arias quickly discovers that the very fate of Falasia depends on him, but is he ready to face Kazzabus, the most skilled warrior of the land?
This is dark fantasy at its best and a tale that will instantly transport YA fantasy fans and Children. The story has a compelling premise and the readers will find themselves irresistibly drawn to the protagonist, a young character who seems unprepared for the adventure ahead of him but who is determined to save someone dear to him. The plot is well-chiseled and tautly written, with twists that are unpredictable. The setting is a world that is magical and the success in creating this world is evident in the compelling imagery that is imprinted in the minds of the readers. Hamzah Malik is a master storyteller with a great sense of grim humor, a unique gift for character, and a setting that is hugely imaginative. It is vivid and transporting, a tale that will fascinate fans of fantasy. Arias Archer & the Shadow Cloak is beautifully written, expertly paced, and features scenes that are cinematic and engrossing. It is a creepy slow burn that pays much attention to the inner world of the characters as much as to the mystery at the heart of the conflict. A masterpiece indeed!