Challenge 38 – “A book with magic.”
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Following the enjoyment from the first book in the series (The Iron King), I sought out the sequel and began without delay. What I was met with was a strong sequel that I enjoyed even more than the first. There is also the potential with sequels that too much (or even too little) of the previous story will be portrayed, boring or confusing the reader. Kagawa, however, manages to balance this perfectly, creating a novel that could stand alone, whilst not retelling the previous story for large portions of the book (as I have seen done before). This strong start provides a good promise for the rest of the novel.
Unlike in the Iron King, I did not find that there was a section (after the initial adventure had begun, but before the main climax) where the pace slowed and momentum was hard to find. No novel is perfect, and there were scenes that left me questioning their relevance or importance, but this time I found they were so beautifully written that I had no problem finding the motivation to keep reading. For the first time I found that background scenes were coming to life in my imagination as much as those integral to the plot, which sped up the reading even more.
The important ingredients of any good novel were all in place – strong characters (developing those we’d met before, and introducing new, believable ones), an exciting and well-paced plot, and awe-inducing penmanship. In my opinion the novel did true justice to the complex genre of fiction, defining another world that was believable and continuous, with a plot that was not just a re-write of the previous novel. My love of fantasy has been truly re-kindled by this novel, and now I can’t wait to start the third!
Recommended for fans of:
- The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
- The Keys to the Kingdom Series by Garth Nix
- Virals by Kathy Reichs