Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Nethergrim Trilogy #2: The Skeleth by Matthew Jobin

The Skeleth (The Nethergrim, #2)My name is Katherine, and Lord Aelfric has forced me to leave the stables and become a castle servant. Lord Wolland has arrived at the castle and professes a need for war. He always has an annoying smile on his face, but he behaves as a bully. I have learned that war is coming to our lands, and someone has unleashed the Skeleth. These creatures use the bodies of mortals in their destruction and will switch to other bodies if the mortals are killed. Tom left with my father to find Lord Tristan, but it wasn't until later that I discovered my father is now being controlled by the Skeleth and Lord Tristan is an old, blind man. Edmund is still learning to master magic, but he has been forced to teach himself. He believes an apprentice magician is helping him, but I suspect he's being manipulated. It's becoming clearer that Lord Wolland will have his war, and I feel as though I may be the only person willing to oppose him.

This book is the second in the series, and you need to start with the first one. As in the first book, it's nice to see Edmund unable to quickly master magic, unlike most characters in other books. Some readers may not like that, but it makes Edmund a more "realistic" character. The author is able to develop a conflict with increasing suspense. The skeleth seem invincible, no one seems willing or able to oppose them, and Lord Wolland's plans seem to be proceeding without a problem. Book one presented a confusing "love" triangle with Edmund and Tom both displaying affection for Katherine. That situation gets muddled in this book, as their affections are diverted to new characters. The author chooses to tell the story through three different plots which is one of my pet peeves. I get annoyed when a plot reaches a suspenseful moment only to have the author switch away to another problem and not return for a couple chapters. By then, the suspense and excitement have gone away, so the description loses its effectiveness.

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