Friday, January 16, 2009
Title: Ruler of the Realm by Herbie Brennan
How it was obtained: I don't remember. Perhaps a Christmas present to Susan (or maybe we simply bought it).
Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 2 or 3 years.
Days spent reading it: 4 days.
Why I read it: I first purchased Faerie Wars for Susan as a Christmas present. I was experimenting with a book I thought she might like. Turns out it was a phenomenal book. This is the third book in that series.
I loved Faerie Wars and its sequel The Purple Emperor. So I was expecting good things from Ruler of the Realm. I was not disappointed. The target audience for these books is definitely teenage readers, however it is also being marketed to adults (I've seen mass paperbacks in the Fantasy/Science Fiction areas that are aimed at adults, not teens). These books are definitely worth being read by any fantasy reader.
Herbie Brennan has great characters. However, the real selling point for me from that book on is Herbie Brennan's mastery of plot. I will not reveal much about the plot, because it is so great and fluid that even talking about basics gives away the plot from previous books. His books take 2 or 3 complete story shifts through the book. NOTHING is ever as it appears, and great revelations are made throughout the series. Ruler of the Realm has some great seismic shifts.
My biggest complaint about this book is that Henry (who I would consider the main character from the first two books), is sidelined during most of this book. His character just is not doing much. A little disappointing, because Henry is such a likable character.
My only caution to readers: This series does have demon characters and sometimes odd (or scary) rituals that reflect a pagan worldview. I was put-off by some of the events, but not so much that I would not recommend this book to teenagers whose parents would talk about the content.
Favorite quote: He was reaching for another crystal bloom when the guards fell on him like a tree.
Stars: 4.5 out of 5.
Final Word: Surprise!