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2 Stars Out Of 5
May 5, 2010
The story premise is an interesting one; that of a world in which spiritual warfare is made real through flesh and blood battles between allegorical representations of JoRel (Gods) Guardians, and the Shadow Warriors of the rebelled and fallen Dagar, whose puppet kings have usurped the throne from the true ruling family line. However, the writing skills just arent there to support it.There are some Old Testament parallels shown mainly in the ritualistic religion of JoRel (temples etc.) and in the twelve regions of Allon, each governed by its own Council member. The surveys of these regions just flies by, as did the introduction to the Lords of those areas, it wasnt fully fleshed out, and most of those characters are regions are entirely forgettable.Ellis is the main character, and his role is that of a young warrior prince destined to regain the throne. However, he (and most of the other male characters), are snickering through their dialogue at least 30% of the time even in momentous situations. This really spoiled the character development for me (though there was little to go around in the first place.) Shannan is Ellis love interest, but his feelings for her are somehow linked to the fate of Allon (which is never fully fleshed out), and theres no real emotion there to be felt by readers. The characters also seem to rely upon their brows as the main physical expression of their feelings, which grows old quickly.I doubt I would have finished this novel if I hadnt agreed to review it. There were times I was wishing it had come to an end. There was a pickup in pace for the finale that kept me going through the final sections of the book, but the rest was hard going.
I love a good YA fiction and this book is one of them. I was taken away to the land of Allon where life is not as it should be. An evil king is in charge, though really a puppet king to Dagar and his henchman Latham. The good have had to go underground but now prophecy has lined up with reality and Prince Ellis has come back to take his rightful place and unite the kingdom against Dagar and the Shadow Warriors. It will involve finding the Daughter of Allon and helping her bring the Guardians out of hiding and that is just the beginning. This book is intense from start to finish and the story is engrossing. It is geared toward slightly older YA, I'm not sure my 12 and 13 year olds would follow it really well yet, but their getting close. There are just a lot of characters to follow, 12 different areas of Allon and keeping it straight isn't easy but well worth the effort. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the upcoming books (I'm assuming there will be more since this is book 1).