Book Review 35: Nightborn (Thrones and Bones, book 2)

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Nightborn by Lou Anders  (book 2 in the Thrones and Bones series)

  1. Title: Nightborn (Thrones and Bones book 2)
    Author: Lou Anders
    Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
    Release Date: 14 July 2015
    Available Formats: Dead tree, ebook, audiobook
    Rating: mild PG for mild violence

As I recounted for my review of Mr. Anders’ first book in this series, I met Mr. Anders several years ago at a convention and have been a fan of many of the books he has edited. I greatly enjoyed Frostborn and was very anxious to pick up with Karn and Thianna and see what they were up to.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: From the author of Frostborn comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull. Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. Not a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves. Meet Desstra. She’s in training to join the Underhand—the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be. Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?

Setting; Mr. Anders fleshes out his Viking world by introducing southern cities and fantastic variations of his decidedly Norse inspired races. The world you grew to know and love in Frostborn has grown up and out a bit, but still holds the same charm as it did last fall.

Plot: Thianna has disappeared. Karn has been charged by a dragon to find her. Along the way new friends and enemies are met. Not all is as it seems and we see that expectations can be a readers best friend and worst enemy. I refuse to spoil the plot, but I will state that it evolves along the way and riddles abound.

Characters: Karn and Thianna are two of my favorite characters in modern fiction. I admit, I’m tired of stories where one gender or race is constantly at war to gain recognition or equality. Mr. Anders has completely sidestepped this by making all the characters in his book play on equal footing. Karn and Thianna are joined in this book by the unlikeliest of allies and the deadliest of foes. Mr. Anders has written each one with a voice of their own that I found enthralling and engaging.

Odin’s recommendation: I am a reader. I enjoy a good story. I could care less what age a good story is intended for. If you’ve read Lloyd Alexander, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis or J.K. Rowling as an adult and enjoyed them, you know what I mean. In fact, if an author feels an adult story needs strong language and sexual situations, I’ll stick with something written for a bit younger audience. Mr. Anders has written a good story. A very good story. A really, really very good story. You get the point. Yes, a more mature reader might not be surprised by some of the plot developments, but I’ll read a good story over and over again even once I know whats going to happen. By that standard, Nightborn must be a very good book indeed, because I know it will be read regularly over the years.

Oh.. and the best part? Nightborn is released tomorrow. So go get it wherever you get books and set aside a night or two to enjoy a good story well told. However, if you haven’t picked up a copy of book one, Frostborn, grab it while you’re there and read it first. You’ll be glad you did.

An aside to Mr. Anders: please write faster. I sincerely am anxious for book three.

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