{Book Review} The Conjurers: Rise of the Shadow by Brian Anderson

Posted July 5, 2021 by shooting in Book Review / 12 Comments

The Conjurers #1, Rise of the Shadow

• Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (July 28, 2020)
• Hardcover: 240 pages

Siblings Emma and Alex tumble into a secret world where magic is real and skilled illusionists can perform actual tricks–for better or worse. Perfect for fans of the Magic Misfits and the Land of Stories series.

After their parents vanished, Alex and Emma are sent to live with strict Uncle Mordo. Only Emma’s pet rabbit, Pimawa, keeps them company. But when flying skeletons called Rag-o-Rocs storm their once-quiet home, the kids escape just in time with Pimawa leading the way.

The rabbit takes the siblings to the Conjurian, a land where magic exists and Pimawa can talk. But the Conjurian is in trouble. Magic has been disappearing, and the Shadow Conjurer, the most mysterious sorcerer of all, is on the hunt for the Eye of Dedi, an object so powerful it could destroy the Conjurian and human worlds. The battle to control all magic has begun. There’s only one problem: Alex and Emma don’t have any!

Masterful storytelling and dozens of captivating illustrations fill author-illustrator Brian Anderson’s world with charm and intrigue. Fall under the spell of the Conjurers.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to read and review The Conjurers #1: Rise of the Shadow by Brian Anderson. All opinions, as always, are my own. 


The Conjurers is the first book in a magical series. I think it would make a great book to read out loud, or to have siblings take turns reading since the book goes back and forth between the perspectives of Alex and Emma, a brother and sister. They’ve lived most of their lives with their Uncle Mordo, who doesn’t let them do anything fun and who Alex essentially views as a dictator. All of that changes one night when they are whisked away to a world called The Conjurian…and they realize that magic is real after all.

  • I really liked that we got both Alex and Emma’s perspective in the book. Alex is much more level-headed and logical, while Emma has sort of always believed magic was real and is definitely the more imaginative of the two.
  • The black and white illustrations throughout the book are wonderfully done and really add to the overall story! Why can’t more books have illustrations?
  • Emma’s pet rabbit, Pimawa, grows in size, walks on two feet, and talks, once they enter the world of The Conjurian and I enjoyed his character very much…and the amount of growth he goes through in just book one!
  • The book is full of intriguing secondary characters – none entirely good, but more shades of gray.

The book does leave on quite a cliffhanger, but don’t worry! The second book is already out so just be sure you have both on hand before you start reading. Rise of the Shadow was a fun, action-packed start to the series!

Purchase Links

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Brian Anderson

Brian Anderson is the creator of the syndicated comic strip “Dog eat Doug”, which enjoys an international fan base both on and offline. He is an optioned screenwriter and the author of several children’s books, including “Nighty Night, Sleepy Sleeps” and “Monster Chefs”. He is currently working on the upcoming YA series, “The Conjurers” with Crown Publishing.

Find out more about Brian on his website, and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

12 responses to “{Book Review} The Conjurers: Rise of the Shadow by Brian Anderson

  1. Well, this sounds like it’s not only adorable but also totally fun! I would’ve loved a book like this with my whole heart when I was younger! It actually makes me want to pick up more middle-grade books, despite not feeling as though I can really get into them or relate any longer haha!

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