Monday, October 21, 2013

The Last Enchanter by Laurisa White Reyes

For Middle Grade Monday I am taking a look at the latest release from author Laurisa White Reyes, The Last Enchanter, book two of The Celestine Chronicles.

The Story-
 Marcus is at home again after healing his brother Kelvin and figuring out about the Rock of Ivanore. Kelvin has stayed behind in Dukur to train as a royal, while Marcus is once again studying magic with Zyll. All is not well. Marcus suffers severe pain every time he tries to use magic, a result of bringing Kelvin back from near death, and Marcus swears to never use magic again.

When word of the king's death (murder) reaches Marcus, Zyll heads to Dokur to help Kelvin, leaving Marcus behind. However, Marcus sees a vision of Zyll's death and follows to warn and protect his grandfather. Clovis and Bryn join Marcus, along with Lael, a young girl from their village looking for her mother. Together they discover there is trouble in the Kingdom and secrets yet to be revealed.

My Thoughts-

A great fantasy sequel that will take readers on a journey into a new and magical world. The story takes place only months after the first book. Marcus is still a strong character, but the consequences of using his magic have affected him deeply. It took him so long in the first book to believe in himself, and now in the second he is hampered by pain. However, this brave boy is not stopped when he believes his grandfather's life is in danger. He heads out on a journey, ready to face what may come.

A new character is introduced, Lael. She is spunky and feisty and I love her character development. She comes from an abusive family, where her father beats her, and her mother was sold into slavery. Instead of cowering, she hides money away from her father for years, waiting until she has enough coin to buy her mother back. She obviously has an interest romantically in Marcus, but poor girl, he is oblivious. One thing that confused me was the ending where Lael finds her mother. When the woman is revealed it didn't quite jive right. There is no way the mother would not have recognized Lael's story and learned her name. But, as a motive, a missing mother drives Lael to progress in the plot.

I think I would have like a bit of a quest feeling when Marcus heads off to find the maker of the key. He heads into no-mans land, but the journey is way too easy and ends too fast. The conclusion of finding the key maker does reveal secrets to Marcus that advance the story and bring the whole book full circle, leading back to saving Kelvin and the kingdom.

There are a couple character twirks that bothered me, but the overall story is fun and imaginative. There are motifs of family, bravery and courage that are well developed and add action to the story. As the characters grow, I'm thinking that we will be moving into YA for the next book. Hopefully there will be one, because we end with a great revelation.

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