Cover illustration by Manuel Šumberac
Having loved The Boy With One Name, I was delighted when ReadingZone asked me to review the second tale from the Badlands…
Since their commencements, none of the three Badlanders have the life they had wanted. Thomas Gabriel’s magic is fading, and Ruby needs Jones for hers to work properly. But, Jones wants nothing more to do with the Badlands. He would be more than happy with his new ordinary life as Ed if only he could rid himself of the magic that refuses to leave him in peace. For Thomas Gabriel, the clock is ticking, so when Ruby uncovers a way the three might have their magic fixed, Jones returns to the Badlands. With danger surrounding them, can they finally become the people they want to be before time runs out?
The constant menace that surged through the first book is heightened as J R Wallis creates another spellbinding story of friendship, courage and standing up for what you believe in. Supernatural beings, powerful enemies and dark magic had me on the edge of my seat as every turn of the page drew me further into the dangerous world at the edge of our own.
Ruby was the stand out character for me, fighting for her right to be a Badlander despite being a girl. Her determination to live the life she wants shines through the courage of her actions without ever forgetting the needs of her friends. Her resolve to be the best Badlander she can be and prove that girls deserve the same rights as boys, with the ultimate aim of getting the High Council to change the Ordnung resonates with real life, and could be linked in the classroom to both the suffragette movement and Malaya Yousafzai’s fight for girls right to education.
Huge thanks to ReadingZone for asking me to review The Black Amulet, I can’t wait to get it into school, but only for Year 6! Do make sure you check out the other fabulous books reviewed by teachers and librarians on ReadingZone.
And, if you fancy some free author master classes, head to J.R. Wallis’s website, and have a listen to his creative writing podcasts.