I loved this book just as much on the second read as I did on the first. Just wanted to get that out!
I won’t spend too much time recapping the plot synopsis, but what we’ve got here is a high fantasy set in a world that is not our own. 1000 years ago Magicians made some mighty big mistakes and in their greedy insane quest for more power they pretty much almost destroyed the world. They needed the Clanfolk to help clean up their mess. The Queen, fostered among the Clan to learn their ways now has complete power over her kingdom. The magicians are under her control. The Clan make and control the magical amulets that the wizards need. Basically it is a system with checks and balances. Until now, that is. Things are afoot and it doesn’t look like things are going to end well.
It is a fantasy told from two perspectives. We’ve got Han, a reformed thief, who is trying to make an honest living to support his family. He’s street smart, tough, and has a way of being in the wrong place at the wrong time drawing him into events he’d sooner avoid. He’s a bit of a stock character (he’s very much the loveable rogue type), but his character is so well developed I think he moves past that. He clearly struggles with the guilt from the consequences of his actions and this is part of what rounds him out.
We’ve got Raisa, the princess heir who is trying to be more than just another empty headed princess. She’s tougher than her small stature would indicate, independent, and willing to do what it takes to make her kingdom a better place for all its citizens. What I liked most about her was that we see her struggle against expectations and barriers to learn things. She’s got to fight for everything. She also makes more than her fair share of mistakes, but she manages to learn from them.
The secondary characters, while rich and varied, were not as well developed. It didn’t bother me. I think that Chima has endowed them with enough humanity, especially the villains (although perhaps not the main one - Mr. Big Bad Wizard I’m looking at you) to make the development of them in sequels possible. As they become more important to the storyline I have every belief that they will become more developed.
It is a suspenseful plot driven book. I loved it even on my second reading. I can’t wait for the next one in the series.
Oops...Wrong Cookie is a book and reading blog maintained by Patti and Joanna with help from several friends around the country. We pretty much read everything, but have a strong focus on reviewing young adult literature and other (sometimes random) book or library related information.
Please note: We don't participate in blog tours. The original purpose of Oops was to provide a means to practice reviewing books and engaging in book discussions. Please leave a comment!
Patti is now an assistant branch manager in Austin after working for many years as a teen services librarian. She is very active with the Texas Library Association, serving twice on the Local Arrangement Committee (go Placement Center go!), she has served on the Tayshas High School Reading list in two different capacities and is currently serving as Chair of the Young Adult Round Table. She can be reached at countdownkid at gmail dot com.
Joanna is a teen services librarian turned stay at home mom of two boys. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida where she can often be found visiting the local libraries and appreciating that they always have something fun for her boys to do. In her illustrious 9 year librarian career, she was active in the Texas Library Association (serving as Chair of the Young Adult Round Table), a SXSW Dewey Winburne Community Service Award Honoree, and a totally rock star NYT Librarian of the Year. (*high five*!) She can be reached at jnlib at yahoo dot com.