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Chasing the Prophecy (Beyonders) Hardcover – March 12, 2013
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Jason and Rachel, teens who entered Lyrian by chance in A World without Heroes (2011) and stayed to fight for its inhabitants’ freedom from the emperor in Seeds of Rebellion (2012), now risk their lives to fulfill the prophecy that offers the only gleam of hope. Those who enjoyed the many action scenes in the previous books will find plenty here as well, though the characters also spend a good deal of time in reflection and conversation. The question of whether to trust the prophecy looms large. While this volume concludes the Beyonders series, Mull leaves the door open for another series set in Lyrian. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan
About the Author
Brandon Mull is the author of the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling Beyonders and Fablehaven series, as well as the bestselling Five Kingdoms, Candy Shop Wars, and Dragonwatch series. He resides in Utah, in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and four children. Brandon’s greatest regret is that he has but one life to give for Gondor.
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Top Customer Reviews
I bought A World Without Heroes the very day it came out. I bought Seeds of Rebellion the very day it came out. So it should come as no surprise that I bought this book the day it came out, and finished it that day too. And now it's been a week. And I've been spinning this book and this review and this series over and over in my head, and I can't not write a review. So, without further ado--
First things first: this book is DARK. Like, freakishly dark. As in, Mull probably could've--SHOULD'VE--gotten away with making his characters more like 17 or 18 than 13. (13!?) This book was definitely more Young Adult than Middle Grade. I felt that about the first two books as well, so it should come as no surprise that this book was essentially a punch in the gut emotionally. We go into the dang book knowing that--what was the phrasing--"the road to victory is paved with the blood of heroes"? We KNOW that.
About 40% in, I got really afraid Mull wouldn't kill any of my favorite characters. I had gone into this expecting some heavy-hitting, and I truly began to fear that we'd have lots of dead drinling spear-holders, but no one who we truly CARED about. I was wrong. Yeah. Lots of characters--BELOVED characters--are going to die. :(
But it doesn't make the characters growth and death and relationships less real or painful.
And ugh, the characters--Nedwin! Ferrin! (ah, Ferrin...) Tark, Rachel (Rachel!) Jason, Galloran, Drake--Jasher--Farfalee--Aram!! They are SO real. I find myself looking back at the book, wondering where they are now--are they laughing? are they crying? whatever happened to *I can't tell you because it would ruin the ending*?
This book was SO intricately done. Not intricately plotted, but intricately done. I am incredibly impressed with how Mull brought every single thread together in order to work this conclusion. The passing mention of "These Short Lives" in the Repository of Learning? The drinlings. I can't say any more--spoilers!--but I can say I am incredibly pleased with how this tapestry came together. I loved to see how this complex web of relationships and sacrifice and love was woven. And we got four--FOUR--chapters, plus a prologue, from Nedwin's POV, which had me LITERALLY doing a jig in my bedroom (not a good sight, I assure you)
And I think that what hit home about this book, to me personally--the power of LOVE against evil. The power of loyalty and honor getting us through the most difficult places (I'm lookin' at you, Nedwin!). The power of hope, and sacrifice, and belief in what seems the remotest chances, and...just...AGH! The emotions in this book are SO REAL, the grief is dealt with SO WELL, the conflicts are SO VITAL...
And the way the quests finally weave together--the influence they have on each other--the secret we discover at the end is so real and beautiful and PERFECT and unexpected and how-on-earth-did-I-miss-that and surprising and just...I couldn't stop laughing. I was truly afraid that whatever Jason set off to discover would be stupid or pointless or--worse--some random tidbit of information that totally turned the tide of the war with no PAIN behind it. Well, it was kind of that last one. I think readers will have a love-hate relationship with it, but it was still perfect.
I do have some complaints, of course. I feel like the ending was a bit abrupt, and I wish we had more of Jason's POV at the very end then we did, since he was the protagonist of the first novel. (I have my own opinions about the protagonists of the 2nd book and this one, but that's for some other time.) I felt that Jason's quest was never really concluded, even though we got what we were looking for. And I felt a little down about the way it finally, finally ended, though this epilogue was truly brilliant.
And that leads to my final question, dear readers-who-have-dug-through-my-awful-review. Is this story a tragedy?
I don't know.
Yes, good ultimately wins (because it's fantasy, after all, and if that's a spoiler to you then you need to read a different review (and I mean that as a jest)). Yes, evil is vanquished. BUT... at a cost. A tragic, beautiful cost.
And is this novel, this saga, a tragedy?
I still don't know. But it IS--I assure you--definitely, DEFINITELY worth picking up. Fablehaven is...nothing...compared to this. This, I think, is literature.
This is literature.
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