Map of Shadows

JF Penn

Map of Shadows

JF Penn

A map of skin etched in blood.
A world under threat from the Borderlands.
A young woman who must risk the shadows to save her family.

When her Grandfather is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Sienna Farren inherits his map shop in the ancient city of Bath, England. Once there, she discovers that her family is bound up with the Ministry of Maps, a mysterious agency who maintain the borders between this world and the Uncharted.

With the help of Mila Wendell, a traveller on the canals, Sienna discovers her own magical ability and a terrifying place of blood that awaits in the world beyond.

But when she discovers a truth about her past and the Borderlands begin to push through the defenses, Sienna must join the team of Mapwalkers on their mission to find the Map of Shadows – whatever the cost.

In a place written out of history, a world off the edge of the map, Sienna must risk everything to find her father … and her true path as a Mapwalker.

I have been meaning to read some of JF Penn’s books for a long time. The Arkane series mixing archaeological treasures from the past has been on my TBR list (to be read) for a while now, but ten novels in I decided to try out a new new series she’s written, Mapwalkers. Slightly different to the others, this is billed a dark fantasy.

The novel is set in the historic town of Bath in England. More famous for it’s roman remains than fantasy, this is a different Bath from the one know to millions. This bath is a gateway between worlds, much in the way Philip Pullmans Oxford is the convergence of worlds. Here the Borderlands push close to the earth.Guarding the borders are a secret organisation, Map Walkers who use blood to keep drawing the lines that separate us from the boarderlanders. Sienna finds herself inheriting her grandfathers map shop in Bath. Here she comes into contact with the Ministry of Maps, the secret body of the Map Walkers.

I have to say this book surprised me. I’m not into fantasy that much, but yet it felt more than pure fantasy. Set in a world familiar to me made it more believable. If you’ve read His Dark Materials, then you’ll immediately feel at home in this type of fantasy. Dark at times, emotional we join Sienna’s quest to find the truth about her father. Spellbinding at times, I devoured the pages quickly. The end is satisfying but leaves you wanting more, which is lucky as the followup will be released this year.

Star Rating


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