The Key of Kilenya: A Book for Children Ages 9-12 (Kilenya Series 1) Kindle Edition
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Book 1 – Kilenya Series
(While I purchased this story prior to purchasing the first trilogy box set, I read this book from the box set version.)
This series is geared towards 9-12 year olds – the approximate age in which I was first discovering fantasy and science fiction reads in my elementary school library. I would definitely have enjoyed this series if it had been available back then (many, many years ago). I consider this a lighter version of epic fantasy quest – without the “grit” I find in adult-themed series.
Our main hero is 14 years old, and focusing on varsity basketball tryouts for the upcoming school year. Chased by wolves from his back yard, he heads for their treehouse in the woods – only to find himself in a strange land. A portal has transported him to a world (Eklaron) where the inhabitants know of him and the elders have been keeping watch over him. Magical powers develop, and he sets off on a quest to recover the stolen Key of Kilenya. With exciting chase scenes, this story was a fun read. I’m looking forward to the second story in the series – and wondering when we’ll find out why he has these powers and why the inhabitants of Eklaron have watched over him.
There were so many things I really liked about the way the author has portrayed Jacob. He strikes me as a typical fourteen year old who although he is self-confident, he still displays a bit of timidity and shyness. This is very noticeable both when he is told that he needs to be the one to rescue the Key to Kilenya, and when he meets Aloren, a female not much older than himself who will be accompanying him and his companions on their trek. In the ways of talking with girls he is a novice and wishes Matt were there as he would be much more confident and self-assured in this type of social situation. The way the author developed, slowly, the relationship between Jacob and Aloren was not only plausible but also logical considering the challenges each faces as seek to achieve their individual objectives .
One additional thing I enjoyed about this book is the creativity and imaginativeness the author used to develop the many different characters both good and bad. What an imagination to develop so many different types of characters, each with their own unique characteristics.
As a Fifth grade teacher I require my students to read a minimum of 30 books per school year. In order to do so I must be available as a resource for them to come to for good book recommendations. It was with this in mind that I picked up this book. Having read it in four days I will certainly recommend it. I found it to be one of those that you just can't put down. The only concern I have is that they may find it to be the same way for them and then I'll have the difficult task of getting them to put it away when they need to be working on other things in class. This book was definitely well worth the time spent reading it and I look forward to continuing the series with The Ember Gods.
Having said all that, despite not being the appropriate age group (by several decades) I really enjoyed this book. Yes, it's perfectly appropriate for the middle school audience, but older folks of any age will also enjoy it (my 18 year old book-buddy daughter liked it as much as me).
If you like the Percy Jackson or Harry Potter stories (the standard for high praise in my opinion) then I'm sure you'll enjoy this. It's easy to recommend.