My TBR pile by this point is huge, so when I finished one and slapped a hand on this cover to start reading I had no expectations whatsoever. Knights of the Borrowed Dark, by Dave Rudden, has been the highlight -- the absolute BEST WRITING I've read in a long time -- of the entire summer! Wow, did it blow me away. My 14-year-old son loved it too and stole the sequel from me as soon as it came in from the library.
Denizen Hardwick and Simon Hayes's stories start like that of many middle grade fantasies -- in the worst orphanage ever, Crosscaper Orphanage, where the boys form an alliance and friendship, of sorts, to keep the bullies at bay.
Until an aunt claims Denizen, sending the coolest, suavest, kick-rear-end driver named Grey to collect him. And on their way to his aunt's house Grey saves him, pulling a sword out of a paper bag to defeat an evil, wrong angel that tries to kill them.
Meanwhile, Simon is left behind in the orphanage, which goes from bad to worse in a heartbeat after three "visitors" arrive during a storm and put everyone, except Simon, to sleep. The terror and torture in the shadows begins.
Meanwhile, Denizen is introduced to the "Malleus," a warrior who's cold as ice in her suit of armor, and, he learns, his aunt. His powers blossom in a fantastic burst of light but he learns that using them comes at a steep price. Each time a Knight uses the power to kill one of these evil creatures from the shadows, a part of the Knight -- a finger, a toe, a hand, an arm -- becomes solid iron. Suddenly, he sees Grey's rescue, and his aunt's and the Knights' mission to fight these creatures, in a very different light. Will he join them?
Back at the orphanage, Simon is running ragged, trying to stay hidden from the three things, very wrong, very evil creatures that know the shadows all too well... and are hunting him.
I won't spoil what happens, just know this was a GREAT read and I can't wait until my son finishes book 2 so I can get my hands on it! End your summer right with this read. Enjoy.