CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 24. . . .February 21, 2014
A fantasy novel, filled with magic and dark adventure, Rebel Spring is set in a medieval context. This is the second novel in Rhodes' “Falling Kingdoms” series, and it introduces readers to the world of magic and violence gracefully, making it easy for those who have not read the first novel, Falling Kingdoms to catch up and fall into the story without having to sort through a dry summary of the previous novel.
This novel picks up after King Gaius, the power-hungry and ruthless ruler of Limeros, has conquered the neighbouring kingdoms of Auranos and Paelsia and united them as the country of Mythica. Under the instruction of a Watcher, a god-like immortal being trapped in a separate realm, he undertakes the construction of a road to lead through all three lands and travel through the Forbidden Mountains where he hopes to find the Kindred who could release the Watchers and grant him immortality and power.
While the novel's plot revolves primarily around the pursuit of magic, there is very little magic witnessed or practised by the primary characters, with the exception of Lucia, Gaius' adopted daughter who is a young sorceress. What each of the characters witnesses and experiences is death, passion, betrayal and anger. Rebel Spring is a very dark novel but also thrilling and entertaining. This would be a great novel for an enthusiastic teen reader looking for a substantial historical fantasy adventure.
The only fault I would point out is the overabundance of the shifting point of view. The point of view changes with every chapter, staying primarily within the narrative framework of five primary characters, but there are a few secondary characters who also take point. An omniscient narrative might have been a better choice for a novel with such a long list of characters.
Laura Dunford is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature program at the University of British Columbia.
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