Learn more about The Revenge of the Shadow King in the The Free Library of Philadelphia digital collection. The Revenge of the Shadow King by Derek Benz and Jon S. Lewis and Erik Steele. The Revenge of the Shadow King. This irresistible first novel tells the story of. When Max Sumner and three friends play a magical card game called Round Table, they realize that it is up to them to prevent the wicked creatures of the cards.
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Max, Natalia, Ernie, and Harley are a group of the bestest of best friends. Together they form their very own secret society, called the Order of the Grey Griffins. The Revenge of the Shadow King book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. This irresistible first novel tells the story of fo. The saga of four friends who form a secret club called the Grey Griffins, and get caught up in the dangerous quest to save their town when the wicked creatures.
Children and adults who delighted in the thrill of Harry Potter , or even The DaVinci Code , will find themselves addicted to the words on the page. The depth of the pages will have even the most seasoned readers broadening their vocabulary, refreshing themselves on their medieval history, and wanting to share this series with all of their friends.
Recommended by Maddie Reynolds. The Revenge of the Shadow King: Grey Griffins, Book One. Write Review Add to favorites. Book Information Reading Level. Derek Benz, J.
Good for Reluctant Readers. User reviews Have you read this book?
We'd love to hear what you think. Click the button below to write your own review! Apr 11, Chris rated it liked it. It's been said that Jon Lewis and Derek Benz, the authors of this story, were childhood friends who used to hang out together and pretend that they were running from goblins, monsters and other things as they acted out fantasy stories.
For better or for worse, it shows in this book and helps shape it. The Revenge of the Shadow King is a fantasy book about a group of friends who always hang out together, and enjoy playing a card game called Round Table. When strange events start to occur, it begi It's been said that Jon Lewis and Derek Benz, the authors of this story, were childhood friends who used to hang out together and pretend that they were running from goblins, monsters and other things as they acted out fantasy stories.
When strange events start to occur, it begins to look as if the characters from the card game are starting to come to life and appear in the real world. Things get stranger and more dire as the chaos only gets worse and begins to spread through the whole town, and Max and his friends are stuck in the middle of it.
Many creepy and violent things happen throughout the story. Characters become possessed, mysterious villains show up at the worst times, and there are many close brushes with death.
If that's not enough, the kids even get framed for something they didn't do. Max is developed enough to get us to know him a little better, as we get to understand why he dislikes his family's wealth, why he doesn't get along with his parents, and to some degree, his fear of his possible destiny. His friends don't fare so well in the characterization department. They show enough personality traits to make them interesting and likeable, but not enough to really flesh most of them out.
The two boys can be summed up in simple sentences: Harley is a tough kid, but a nice guy deep down inside. Ernie is an asthmatic, overeating wimp who gets scared easily and is afraid to risk his life to help his friends. Natalia's personality is the most detailed one out of Max's friends.
She is "girly", riding around on a pink bicycle with tassels and unicorn stickers, and enjoying occasions that give her an excuse to dress up. She is smart, and carries a notebook which she uses to write things down to try to help herself figure things out.
She likes to snoop around and investigate to try to learn things on her own. She's bossy and pinches people who annoy her. But she also has a strong sense of justice.
For instance, there is one time when her friends express a desire to get revenge on Ray, a bully who has changed into a monster against his will who now poses a genuine threat to their life. Natalia rebukes them, claiming that his unfortunate, and unwilling, transformation made him someone to pity rather than to hate, and that he needed to be rescued from his fate.
I like Natalia second most out of the characters, and can only wish Ernie and Harley could be developed as much. The story is all about the adventures Max and his friends go on. There is always something interesting happening in each chapter, propelling the story along at a nice pace. On the other hand, quite a lot of it seems semi-random. There are plot elements that are picked up and then rarely touched upon afterward.
For example, Max discovers he can sense where magic portals appear that take him to another world. We're told in the next few sentences that he sensed portals all throughout school over the next few days. After that, portals don't get mentioned for a long time, only for us to find out that Max can no longer sense them, until he suddenly uses one much later in the story.
Essentially, what could have been a neat plot element was mostly unused. Similarly with a creature called a spriggan, who Max meets early on. He likes the spriggan, but he seems to forget about it around the time the book forgets about it. We are later told occasionally that he likes and misses the spriggan, but it appears in the story and is mentioned so rarely that I just didn't feel the connection. There are also some seemingly random plot elements that are brought up and then totally left unused.
At one point, a portal opens up, and Max tries to convince his friends to follow him in there. He lies to Natalia by claiming there are unicorns inside, and lo and behold, there are. There are a lot of neat things inside the world in the portal, but they are out of that world by the end of the chapter, and it is NEVER mentioned again. Not only is it not revisited, but it's not even mentioned in dialog or the plot.
There are a couple instances of things like this, where a plot element that could have been great if expanded upon ended up being forgotten, just when I was really hoping to learn more about it. Fortunately, there are some major plot elements that flesh out the story. The capture of an important adult figure, for instance, plays a pivotal role in the story, and is developed well enough for the audience to get engaged in his rescue. Another important development concerns a bully being possessed and changed into a monster, who makes repeat appearances throughout the story.
There are a number of continuing plot threads and important characters, but there's also just as many minor random or forgotten events. Likewise, there's many deus ex machina-esque close calls. Kids are about to be skewered by a goblin? Good thing a wandering wizard is nearby to stop it with a spell. About to be skewered by the same goblin again? Good thing a truck driver ran it over. An explanation is later given for these close calls, but I was hoping to see the kids become more self-sufficient.
They do, but they seem to survive their perils more often not through their own wits or skill, but through luck and chance. The thing is, much of why the book is this way can probably be chalked up to what I said in the first sentence. The authors were childhood friends who used to pretend that the events in this book were happening to them as they acted them out. That's what the book feels like: At times, it seems to follow the flow of make-believe play: Head for the portal!
It's enjoyable fun, but full of contrivances.
Then again, this is rather common for adventure stories - but the length and tone of the book led me to figure that it would be a little more realistic and take itself more seriously, so the tone of the dialog was quite unexpected. There is one glowing positive that came from this story's "two friends just playing" origins: These scenes are plentiful and do a great job of making the kids more personable and likeable as characters. There were many times when I felt as if I could have been there, so believable were these moments.
The friendly banter and "pretend" adventure dialog combine to create a playfully adventurous mood. To be honest, once I got used to it, I began to enjoy this mixture. It defuses the seriousness once might expect from the menacing artwork on this hardcover book, or even the sheer amount of violence and close calls within, but it also makes the story more fun, which is possibly what the authors intended.
Even with its flaws, I was glued to the book throughout, save for the last few chapters. Deus ex machinas aside, I enjoyed the kids' constant brushes with danger.
Even with the occasionally forgotten plot elements and sometimes seemingly random events, I still had fun seeing what happened to the characters. The Revenge of the Shadow King feels like the type of story that just flowed largely linearly from the author's imagination, albeit with a number of elements planned out beforehand.
Not the most realistically fleshed-out story in existance, but an enjoyable way to get wrapped up in the moment, see what happens next, and have a fun time.
May 08, Bailey rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Eleven-year-old Max and his three friends constitute a tight-knit club called the Grey Griffins, with an enthusiasm for a card game called Round Table.
When a Slayer goblin, a villain from the game, appears to Max and attacks him, he flees and, in the process, discovers a hidden room filled with books.
One of the volumes turns out to be the Codex Spirits, which holds "perhaps one of the greatest secrets the world has ever known. One of the more interesting characters is Iver, an odd fellow who owns the antique shop where they play Round Table, and who clearly knows more about what is going on with Max and the book. A mysterious connection between Iver and Max's grandfather adds a note of mystery to a tale that otherwise focuses on action.
The authors borrow from both Arthurian legend and faerie lore to build their setting; though it can feel jumbled and incoherent at times, the backdrop exudes its own childlike enchantment, much like the card game at the story's center. I can say that I definitely enjoyed reading this book I would recommend this book to anyone that like a mystery and a seance of adv-enter. Apr 25, Natalia rated it did not like it Shelves: This book did not make any sense.
The setting is in Minnesota but described as if it is in Europe. The name Natalia is supposed to be Russian but the other names she was given - Felicia Anastasia - that just does not make any sense.
Russians do not give girls multiple female names. It is always first name, name of father and last name. The author obviously did not bother researching this. When Max starts seeing monster in his dream, he decides to go to the woods. This just makes no sense.
Strang This book did not make any sense.
Strange things start happening, is it a great idea to have a sleepover at the tree house in the woods? Apparently, boys from this story think it is and do just that.
Nothing in this story makes sense. Feb 27, Nathaniel Foster rated it it was amazing. The Theme of The Revenge of the Shadow King is that friends stick together no matter what and everybody is a part of something. He saved us. You are the bad one.
You are nothing but a lie. Sprig could have just took the jewel and stopped Oberon from getting it and let Max die, but, she went back and sacrificed herself to save Max from Ray so he could stop Oberon.
By doing this Sprig showe The Theme of The Revenge of the Shadow King is that friends stick together no matter what and everybody is a part of something. By doing this Sprig showed that friends stick together and help each other no matter what situation they are in.
May 24, Dustin rated it it was ok. Even though it plays upon interesting concepts and allusions to larger historical mysteries, this book lacks a focus in its writing that often comes into play during the intrigue, specifically regarding a plethora of deus ex machina figures.
Continuity editing is not always apparent, and clarity did not seem to be a priority in writing. I recognize that the target audience is elementary students; however, other fantastical classics also achieve this without sacrificing key elements of story writ Even though it plays upon interesting concepts and allusions to larger historical mysteries, this book lacks a focus in its writing that often comes into play during the intrigue, specifically regarding a plethora of deus ex machina figures.
I recognize that the target audience is elementary students; however, other fantastical classics also achieve this without sacrificing key elements of story writing and depth.
Mar 05, Sono rated it it was amazing. As I usually do, i read this book before attempting to get my Daughter 11 to read it. Finding a book that captures my interest and makes me think i have a chance to capture my daughters as well is harder than it sounds.
Great characters, quick but detailed plot, decent amount of puzzlement to keep a kid guessing. As an avid reader, it is a constant befuddlement to me how she struggles to truly get into a book. This one gives me high hopes- Wish me luck!
This was like a middle grade version of Stranger Things meshed with National Treasure, but without any of the elements that make those things good or fun. This book has been sitting on my shelves since I was eleven years old and I was never able to make it past chapter one until I reluctantly began listening to the audiobook last night because I wanted to listen to something and it was the only one I had available at the time.
A shame, really. The cover always intrigued me so much as a kid. Jan 25, Kai Nosack rated it it was amazing. The book is called The Revenge of the Shadow King. It is written by Derek Benz. There are pages. Not including the glossary. I was hooked from the first page. I thought that the book was interesting because of their card game. I thought that the characters were interesting. The setting was interesting, the setting was around a town with a forest and a school.
The forest played a good part of the book. I thought it added a good thrill to it. I thought it had a different point of view. Every action the characters did changed things. In the book a bad event happens and they have no more school. The point of view was different and I liked it. Overall the book was a fast paced book and was fun. The book had fantasy in it, but not too much. I thought that the author did a good job balancing the fantasy and real life.
The review was three and a half stars, but I thought it should get a five star rating. Jan 15, Kacey rated it really liked it. Although definitely a story for a younger audience, this book had a lot of compelling aspects for those older as well. A rather long story, and only book one at that, with some historical aspects, and violence too. I do not recommend this book to anyone unless your a boring person. Main character is a boy with a shadow creature that follows him around and bugs him.
Friends battle monsters? Involves his dad? Readers Also Enjoyed. Young Adult. About Derek Benz. Derek Benz. Born in the wrong place, and unquestionably the wrong time, Derek Benz spent most of his early years trying to figure out where he was and why he was different than everyone else. By the age of five, he had stumbled upon the answer: Having overcome that myste Born in the wrong place, and unquestionably the wrong time, Derek Benz spent most of his early years trying to figure out where he was and why he was different than everyone else.
Having overcome that mystery, he set out with other young members of the Grey Griffins a super-secret club to protect the world from darkness and bring about a better world through friendship, wit, and superbly-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He's climbed volcanoes in the Ring of Fire, fished for sharks in the North Atlantic, scandalized the Cathedral of Barcelona, been mauled by an angry kitten off the coast of Turkey, narrowly avoided being blown up outside Belfast, learned the meaning of defenestration in France, and even jumped off a few cliffs in Greece.
His interests spanned a wide spectrum: At the same time, he managed to catapult himself to the top of his game in a Fortune company doing what some idly speculated to be nothing less than international computer espionage. But there was always the desire to change the world around him. And since the age of fifteen, he had become obsessed with writing as a means to this end.
Year after year, he labored to prefect his craft, until he felt the time was right. In , he teamed up with J. Lewis and with an eye to the stars, they launched The Revenge of the Shadow King.
Benz met and married his lovely wife and son in sunny Arizona, where they enjoy researching ancient civilizations and studying theology. Search Search Search Browse menu. Sign in. Recent updates. The Revenge of the Shadow King. Description Creators Details Reviews Max Summer and his three best friends, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia - who form the secret club The Grey Griffins - seem to be the only people in their very normal Minnesota town to notice that strange things have started to happen.
Lewis - Author Erik Steele - Narrator. Languages English. Details Publisher: OverDrive Listen audiobook MP3 audiobook. Why is availability limited? The Kindle Book format for this title is not supported on: Sign in Cancel. Add a card. Add a card Contact support Cancel.