Monday, September 27, 2010

Curse of the Spider King by Batson and Hopper

This is the first book in the new Berinfell Prophecies series, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. The spider king opens the book by waging war on the elves with the intent of killing them all to extinction. He orders his soldiers to kill the captured babies of the seven Elven Lords, the elves' only hope for survival. However, to avoid the curse for killing the babies before their Age of Reckoning, the soldiers decide to banish them to the human world where they won't cause any trouble to the spider king when they grow up. The chidren grow up believing they are humans, however, they each develop unique powers when they reach the Age of Reckoning. They discover their true identities when the spider king sends assassins into the human world to kill them. Elven sentintels appear, save the children, and give them magical books to educate them of their pasts. The seven youths must return to Allyra to save themselves and the other elves who have been in hiding.

The plot is similar to some other novels, most recently Here, There Be Dragons that I read back in November. I really liked the description of the young elven lords discovering their new powers in the human world. One child is able to walk on air, another can read minds, and another can foretell the future. Another elf has super strength and healing powers and a fifth elf is a super archer. I liked how the author did not have the sixth and seventh young Elven Lords discover their powers until the climax of the story. It kept me in suspense and the powers were crucial to escaping the spiders king's assassins.

My biggest complaint about the book is with the numerous changes of settings. The setting changes for each of the seven young Elven Lords, because they grow up in differnt places. The setting also changes when the children read the magic book, and they each start at different chapters. It got a bit confusing in the first half of the book, but I thought it would improve once the kids stopped reading the magic book and came together. That is exactly what happened. I assume the next book, due out next summer, will have less need to change settings and will be even better and easier to follow.

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