CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 12. . . .November 20, 2009
Set in a world that runs parallel to ours, with pathways connecting to England, the complicated story begun in the first volume. The Eyes of a King, continues, this time with the adventures of Anselem, the stepson of Leo from book one. Anselem is 16 and lives with Leo, his mother Maria, and his six-year-old sister Jasmine, in the country of Malonia. The country, seemingly just slightly less advanced than England, is impoverished and ruled by a king who returned from exile 15 years ago after the rebels had been overthrown.
Malonia is torn by political factions, the royalists who support the king, and the new rebels, the Imperial Order. The story is told mainly through the eyes of Anselem, interspersed with the lives of two children living in England, Ashley and Juliette, who have strong connections to Malonia.
Voices in the Dark continues the gloomy mood of the first book, with a main protagonist suffering more than the agonies of a normal teenager. The tale gives a strong feel of a culture coming apart at the seams, political turmoil, and in many ways echoes of some of the events of the twentieth century, with riots in the streets and a political party preparing to take charge, by force if necessary.
A serious, complicated tale, mainly told through the eyes of young Anselem, Voices in the Dark is not for the fantasy reader who is looking for wizards, elves or dragons. It is a well-written, thoughtful story, with a complex plot that leads the reader through the shattering of a once-ordinary family and the troubled country in which they live. This cautionary tale will certainly leave the reader wondering how the final threads will be woven together in volume three.
Ronald Hore, involved with writer's groups for several years, retired from the business world in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.