Evernight introduces us to a world of magic and a struggle between good and bad witches. Our heroine, orphan Larabella Fox (known usually as Lara), makes her living searching the sewers for saleable rubbish. Above her, the city is ruled by a king who is the dupe of the leader of the White Witches, Mrs Hester. And Mrs Hester has sent Shadow Jack, her ruthless enforcer, not only to search for a mysterious box lost in the sewers but to release the Evernight, a kind of devilish black hole, which envelopes the world in night and is accompanied by hordes of Painted Men who suck out the lives of their victims. Even at this stage in the retelling, before I add souls in cages and airships, you may sense the influence of other tales. But there’s more than enough that’s new, enough interest in the characters and enough excitement in the twists and turns of the plot to make what is possibly only Ross MacKenzie’s first foray into this world a really gripping read.
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