REVIEW: Aster Wood and the Blackburn Son – JB Cantwell * * * * *

Aster Wood and the Blackburn Son - JB Cantwell

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Book Description from Amazon

Everything in Aster’s world has fallen apart. The great sorcerer, Almara, has leapt to his death to protect Aster and Jade, leaving them lost and without a guide to the cosmos. Aster has won the Book of Leveling, but Jade is no longer able to resist the power of the Corentin. She has fallen into his trap, hungry for more of the malice and cruelty she secretly loves.

And hanging over Aster is Jade’s own threat of murder.

Aster is alone again, unable to clear his mind of the loss of his best friend and her mentor father. But when he discovers the armies assembling to attack the cities in the Triaden, and sees how the children of the lands are being used to fuel the campaign, he is renewed in his resolve to set things right in the Fold. He must find his way back to the friends who will stand beside him in the great battles to come.

But when he finds Stonemore under a wicked enchantment, nothing is as he remembers. Now Aster must seek the great gold stone that Jade possesses, hoping that it will be enough to balance the Fold, and that his own magic will finally break through the fear of failure that has plagued him all along.



Since stumbling onto the first book, I’ve been a big fan of the Aster Wood Series. I’ve read my share of series, and have found that, in most cases, I would’ve preferred the story be condensed to one full novel as often times there is just not enough oomf in the tale to justify book after book after book. This is not the case with Aster Wood. I really enjoyed the first book, loved the second and, surprisingly, loved the third even more.

Almara is gone, dead. Jade has turned to the dark side, now a mere puppet of the dreaded Corentin. And Aster? Aster is lost, depleted, sad, conflicted and suffering from guilt over his inability to save Jade. She is the sister he never had, and he feels like a coward for not putting up more of a fight for her. Now she was back in the Corentin’s clutches, and lusting after Aster’s blood. Aster has some decisions to make.

During the course of the story he meets up with old friends, and discovers new ones. We also have a new villain, and he is vile and disgusting.

What I liked about the book

I like that Aster is growing up into a brave young man. He is not the sickly child we got to know in the first book. With the help of the Watcher, he discovers and experiments with his power.

I was happy to see Larissa back as I enjoy her grating personality. I also found out there is more to her than I first thought. Kiron also returns in this book, recovering from being under a horrible ‘happy’ spell.

The flesh eating army under the command of the Coyle sent shivers down my spine. What exactly are they doing with the children and what part do they have to play in the war? Bait perhaps? Food for the army?

What I didn’t enjoy that much

As with the other two books in the series, there was nothing that niggled me. I loved the book as is.

Final thoughts

The way this one ended, I just cannot wait for the next one. Is Aster actually going to get a chance to go home? This is the reason I hate it when all the books in the series are not yet written!

This was an excellent third instalment of this series. I highly recommend it for children and adults alike.

STAR RATING:  5 Stars!



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