Monday, 7 May 2012

Review- The Dragon of Trelian by Michelle Knudsen

Title: The Dragon of Trelian
Series: Trelian
Author: Michelle Knudsen
Published: April 14th 2009
Book 1
Wow! This is a gripping, wonderful, suspenseful and amazing novel that was expressed superbly in writing! The story revolves and begins when two teenagers, Princess Meglynne (Meg) and Calen, meet at a procession. They take to each other immediately in terms of friendship and Meg decides that she can trust him with her secret even though she just met him. A secret which she has told no one, not even her parents or sisters. One of Meg's sisters, Princess Maerlie, is going to marry the enemy, Prince Ryant of Kragnir. It is an arranged marriage to end a hundred year war, which both the bride and groom are willing to marry because of their affection for each other. 

Calen is a mages apprentice. He studies magic through the logical sense and gets bored of just the books. He wanted to actually use the magic within! Serek who is Calen's teacher, sees Calen's "spark" light up as soon as the apprentice was told Meg's secret. After the spark lit up within him, Serek felt as though Calen was ready to learn how to use magic. Calen found that the logic of magic helped him in the physical casting as well.

What I especially loved about this novel are the constant surprises lurking around the corner. This novel keeps you addicted and makes you relentless to what will happen in the next couple of chapters. I must admit that I was tempted to flick towards the end of the book just to see the outcome. However, I held my ground and waded through it only to find out that it was even more of a compelling read. I also loved how unique the type of magic Knudsen describes is. Not only does it show distinctiveness, but also because it is not just an endless waving of hands, glowing eyes and whatever else that is so cliché, but the characters show weakness and a drainage of energy when they have been casting for too long. 

As the story goes on, Calen and Meg's friendship grows stronger and they help each other out through Calen's magic and Meg's secret. One day, they stumble upon the trusted adviser of the visiting King and Queen of Kragnir, Sen Eva and her son, plotting a murderous act against Princess Maerlie, to break the peace act and plunge the two kingdoms back into war. However, Sen Eva discovers that Calen and Meg overheard her plans and tries to kill them. 

Another twist adding to the never-ending pile, is that Sen Eva is also an unaccounted for mage. Calen shields one of her oncoming attacks but once the spells collided, he and Meg were sent to another part of the world-- far from Trelian. Will they get back in time to warn and save Maerlie? Will they stop the war that might fall upon Trelian? 

Overall, I believe that this novel was excellent and has no obvious or hidden faults. I would recommend this novel to all who like magic and adventure!

Rated: 5/5

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Review- The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Title: The Lost Hero
Series: Heroes of Olympus
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: October 12th 2010
Book 1
I must begin by saying that after I read the Percy Jackson series (the prequel to Heroes of Olympus), I knew that this series was going to be magnificent. As soon as I opened the book and I was a chapter into it, the novel consisted of action, heroics and twists at the very start. The story begins with the memory loss of a teenager named Jason Grace. He finds himself in an unknown life with strange people surrounding him who are supposedly his friends. On a school excursion, he and his friends are attacked by storm spirits called venti. Jason discovers that he is a half-blood after the attack is over. Later along in the book, it is evident, during quests which involve Queen Hera, that Jason is a Roman hero stuck in the life of a Greek hero. He unlocks more of his memory as the novel continues.

As soon as I picked the book up, it was difficult to put down again because of how enticing it is to be in another world of Greek/Roman mythology. It is thrilling to say that Riordan pulled off a novel that has many cohesive characteristics such as action, twists, cliffhangers and more! I advise all people to read this novel if they haven't already. 

What I especially adored about this novel was that Riordan gave each of the characters a unique and rare ability which is discovered and develops throughout the novel. It makes the character connect with readers which leads to more thrills. I also liked moments when the trio on a quest feels down and has a loss of determination, it is always Piper that brings them together again with a new surge of willpower.

Leo, Piper and Jason grow closer to each other on their quest to save the captured God/Goddess (to be revealed in the book). However, if they fail there will be severe consequences involving the ancient creation Goddess and her malevolent minions. Leo has a secret, Piper has the most unanticipated God for a parent and Jason's past is revealed, including where he was from and who the "Lost Hero" is.

The Heroes of Olympus series is much more detailed and interesting than the Percy Jackson series even though Percy Jackson is the prequel to Heroes of Olympus. It was difficult to jump from first person in Percy Jackson to third person in Heroes of Olympus as they are both two entirely different contexts. However, I got used to third person and I must admit I liked it even better as it explains what is happening from different perspectives for each of the protagonists. There are many new ancient Greek antagonists in the novel which are revealed throughout the journey. With this comes new protagonists who have the power and strength to overcome anything standing in their way, some at a loss, and some so simple without any injury or discomfort. 

Overall this is a "top 5" read in my opinion which has no minor or major faults. However, I should warn you that once this book has been picked up it will be near impossible to put down again!

Rated: 5/5