Friday, December 29, 2017

Beast & Crown #1 by Joel Ross

Beast & Crown (Beast & Crown #1)My name is Ji. I helped Brace get permission to leave for the city where he's being mentored by Proctor. It was the only way I could think of for Sally, Roz, and me to free Chibo from the tapestry factory. Brace is going to participate in the Diadem Rite, and I'm to be his assistant. The rite is held to select the heir to the Summer Crown, and he will become the holder of all human magic. This person will be the only thing keeping ogres and goblins from invading the realm. I just discovered the identity of the Red Mask, a roof-hopping spy who helped me free Chibo, and it surprised me. However, I wasn't prepared for what happened during the Diadem Rite when I interrupted the ceremony. Now, all of the Summer Queen's soldiers want to kill us, and I'm not sure Brace can still be trusted.

This book will probably not appeal to everyone, but I enjoyed it. Some readers don't have a high tolerance for made-up vocabulary, and this book was full of it. The human characters used it a little bit, but the goblins did it a lot. In essence, they broke normal words into similar sounding word parts, which led to some confusing conversations. The first half of the book was all about saving Chibo, but the focus of the plot changed to the Diadem Rite after that. I don't want to give away what happens during the ceremony, but suffice it to say things dramatically changed for the main characters. I correctly predicted what I thought would happen, but then everything got twisted around. The cast of characters was an interesting mix. Ji was a lying thief, Sally was a brave knight-wannabe with high morals, Roz was the mature young lady, Chibo was the immature little brother, and Nim was the confusing ally. Of them all, Ji was the one who made the hard decisions. He kept saying he didn't care about others, but Sally and Roz kept telling him he was wrong. The banter between Ji and Sally was especially entertaining, as they constantly teased each other. Overall, I really liked the book and may read the sequel, but as I said, it's going to appeal to a select audience of fantasy-lovers. 

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