Genre: Junior Fantasy
Recommended Age: 10+
Favorite Quote: “‘I trust you’ was her thought.”
I was compensated by Ahelia Publishing foe my time in reading this book and I was also provided a free book in exchange for my honest review. I promise that did not chance my opinion of the book in any way and my opinion would remain the same if I found the series and paid for it with my own money.
“Summer Solstice has arrived. The Elliot Twins, Aunt Bella and the others are headed back to Trilleah where the Valley of Shadows–and King Shrailzhar–awaits their return.
While the travelers are unaware of what lurks beneath their path, all that lies just out of sight–under the souls of their feet, is most certainly aware of them!
The Lord of the Adders has been given strict orders by King Shrailzhar–who will stop at nothing to keep those dreadful curse breaking travelers out of his land–to -Go after the weakest!-
-Take that little one below, into your Adder’s Nest, and shackle her there, – were the King’s final instructions. -That shall put such a fear into the hearts of the others that surely, they will never return. Fear is the greatest tool of all!-
Little does the King realize that while fear is indeed a horrible snare that binds the hearts of some, it is also fear that causes great strength and courage to grow in others. If only he could know who it would bind and who it would empower, King Shrailzhar may choose very differently.” – back cover blurb provided by Goodreads.
If you’ve not read the first book I advice you to do so before reading this review. I try to never post spoilers in my reviews but I might discuss things that might be confusing or “spoilery” to those who have not read the amazing first book of this series. You’ve been warned.
I’m back in the land I previously fell in love with and this time it’s darker! The trees are moaning and the threat of being found by King Shrailzhar is becoming very real and very scary. The land is becoming angier that the Travelers are becoming closer and closer to finding all the clay tablets and the land isn’t holding back their attacks against our favorite heroes! I loved revisiting the characters I fell in love with and something I thought that was very well done was the split POV between Bella and Jennifer. Jennifer was our previous focus of the story, but with Bella’s insight I thought the story was better told and I thought this helped develop a character we didn’t have a chance to really get to know in the previous book.
The pacing wasn’t forced. It had a very natural flow and nothing felt too slow or too fast. The plot development was very well done as well. The second book really focused on trust. Who do you trust and can you believe everything you see with your eyes? I thought the book did a very good job at keeping the readers guessing at who to trust and what is real. Do you trust Bella or Simeon? Do you believe the garden or the enticing cave that tells you to leave your robes outside? Sometimes it felt like the reader should trust something when it turned out to be a lie and the way the author executed that type of writing was very well done.
The book was very well written. It kept my interest throughout the book and it never felt like the author repeated phrases or ran out of things to say. The writing made the book an easy and exciting read and I can see this being a popular book for young children as well. The book was also insightful. I’ve previously discussed that the book was an exploration on trust. This is an important thing for young children to realize and the younger they can the better unfortunately. It’s sad that young children can’t trust everything adults or other children tell them, but it’s the reality we live in now. This book did a really good job at showing how the sweet words of something can be lies and how something that might seem like a good thing is very very bad. The book taught the reader to not believe everything they hear or see and it taught the reader to look at it things from a different perspective or, in the words of the book, with the “eyes of their heart”. While there isn’t a book of lies in real life, there is intuition that needs to be trusted and there are people in your life that will lead the way, no matter how little or weak they seem.
The only issue I had with this marvelous book is that I want to know more about the other characters and I hope the split POV continues. And the book ended on a cliff hanger! I need to read the next book ASAP to find out what happens because I have more questions than answers like poor Jennifer!
Obviously I loved this book and I highly recommend this book to any young or old fantasy book lover!