Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Sorcerer's Ring #2: A March of Kings by Morgan Rice

A March of Kings (The Sorcerer's Ring, #2)My name is Reese, and my father, the king, has been murdered by someone he knew. My best friend Thor was accused of the crime, but my father's last words proclaimed his innocence. Now, the Legion recruits must leave on the traditional One Hundred; we may be selected as Legion members when we return from this retreat in three months, assuming we survive. However, Thor will be troubled by several thoughts. He'll be separated from my sister for one-hundred days, he promised to avenge my father's death, and he's been told his destiny is bigger than the king. In addition, my power-hungry brother Gareth now rules the kingdom, despite my father's wishes, and there is no one less qualified to rule. Our enemies are watching, and I fear their invasion is imminent.

This book is the sequel to A Quest of Heroes, and you should really read it first. Also, it's most appropriate for upper middle grade readers due to some suggestive content between Thor and Gwen. I really enjoyed Thor's character, as he sincerely wanted to make the best choices for himself and others. His bravery, compassion, and integrity were admirable character traits. In contrast, Gareth was a great antagonist, as his scheming for power started to encompass the kingdom and his siblings. Once he gained power, he wanted to make sure he didn't lose it. He ignored the advice of his counsel and chose to alienate his father's loyal subjects. I was hoping he'd take his obsession too far, and I suspect he will in the near future. I don't often focus on the social aspects of books, but this one seemed to send a mixed message about femininity. Of all the children, Gwen's father chose her to succeed him as ruler of the kingdom. He felt she was the most qualified, legitimate heir to the thrown. At the same time, the kingdom's greatest knight was required to go on a quest to select his wife, since he hadn't chosen one by the time he turned twenty-five. Women tried to impress him, so they would be chosen. The demeaning of women really struck me after most of the women in a duke's realm had been paraded in front of the knight. The duke asked if he had chosen his wife yet based almost entirely on appearance! Overall, I'm enjoying the series, but I suspect the mature situations may outgrow the appropriateness for middle grade readers.

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