- File Size: 3014 KB
- Print Length: 840 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Jason Paul Rice (August 25, 2016)
- Publication Date: August 25, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01L0VPWHS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,869 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Pearl of Wisdom Saga: Two Book Bundle Kindle Edition
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Volume 1 of The Pearl of Wisdom Saga is a massively complicated story with many many characters and many moving parts. In this book, the main focus is on the Kingdom of Donegal and the various plots and power schemes that take place there, although there are a few scenes from various other countries.
The title scene, for example, takes place in the neighboring kingdom of Goldenfield when Princess Leimur LeLuc kills her parents and takes over as Queen. Her people evidently share her feeling that her parents have run the kingdom into the ground and are eager to get rid of them, calling for both their heads on spikes.
The people of Donegal are generally not much happier with their current king, Ali-Stanley Wamhoff, and there are all sorts of competing plots to get rid of him. Ali-Stanley himself is not above plotting extensively to get rid of people he doesn’t like. One of the biggest mistakes he makes is to ambush and try to kill Duke Jon Colbert of Mattingly, the only region of Donegal that is still contributing anything to the financial prosperity of the country. He (or rather his people) do not quite succeed, but the repercussions of this treachery, almost all bad, keep spreading out.
There is other stuff going on too – so much that it is difficult to keep up with or understand the significance of it. Three separate groups of people are journeying toward various schools of magic in the islands around Donegal. They need to train to defeat an approaching attack by a horde of demons. Most of the rest of their world is not aware that this attack is imminent. One of these groups of magic users is actively seeking the Pearl of Wisdom. Not much is made of this in this first book.
Many people are killed. Some of them appear to deserve it, others not so much. Among those who are killed is king Ali-Stanley. Many of the people who were plotting to kill him but didn’t make it because somebody else beat them to it decide to flee the country.
Like the Song of Ice and Fire books, this is a massive story with many moving parts. Somehow, however, it doesn’t seem to work as well, especially in this first book. We move back and forth between too many characters too quickly, and there doesn’t seem to be sufficient time to properly develop most of them. Many of the characters, especially the incompetent rulers and some of the more villainous characters feel more like cartoons than real people. Even many of the more virtuous characters feel like they would be more at home in a comic book. Which is a shame, as the overarching story appears, once you get to where you can figure out what is going on, to be worth pursuing to the end.
Volume 2 – Fractured Families – 4 stars
This second volume of The Pearl of Wisdom Saga is a little better than the first volume, now that we sort of know a little about the players and what is going on. However, I would not recommend this as a stand-alone book for anyone who has not read Two Heads, Two Spikes. If it was difficult to figure out which one was what one in that book, it would be nearly impossible in this one without having encountered them first in the previous book. Hence the value of a book bundle. In fact, if there is a bundle of all three books once the next book is finished, I would recommend that for anyone who hasn’t already read the earlier books.
At the end of Two Heads, Two Spikes, Ali-Stanley’s second son, Ali-Ster was chosen to succeed his father in place of his imbecile half-brother, Ali-Varis. Ali-Ster appears to have the makings of a good ruler. He has adopted the practice of going among the poor people of the countryside and distributing food and money on a regular basis. The poor people call him The People’s King. Ali-Ster also entertains a fantasy of marrying Queen Leimur LeLuc of Goldenfield, whom he sees as a kindred spirit. All his good plans and dreams are destroyed when he is killed in another of the famous Wamhoff betrayals.
Meanwhile, all the people who were previously plotting against Ali-Stanley are still plotting. Some of them step up their activity when they hear how Ali-Ster was ambushed.
Most of the family of Duke Jon Colbert is reunited except for the two oldest sons and Riceros. They too prepare to attack Fox Chapel and the Wamhoffs. They are supported in their plans by the Ducal family of Bottomfoot, whose son, Torvald, plans to marry Jon’s daughter, Mariah.
The young people who have been training in the schools of wizardry, or looking for these schools, are introduced to the reasons for their involvement in the project. They begin to meet up with each other, and some of them are made acquainted with various types of dragons. It appears that they have been training to fight the demons who are still very much planning to reclaim their world from the humans. And the Pearl of Wisdom is revealed, sort of, even if it is not actually visible yet.
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