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The Rock of Ivanore (The Celestine Chronicles) Hardcover – May 15, 2012
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Tony Abbott, author of The Secrets of Droon
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This story is a fantasy quest with dragons, magic, monsters, heroes, villians, slaves, gems, friendships and battles. The characters are as varied as they are familiar. There is the hero (Jayson), the orphan (Marcus), the friend (Kelvin), the monsters (cyclops, Bryn: a Groc), the wizard (Zyll), the slaves (the agorans), the exiled angry offspring (Arik) and more. They all bring different characteristics, emotions and strengths to the story.
I am looking forward to reading the second in this series to see what is up next for Marcus and his friends. I recommend this book to public, school, class and family libraries. The publisher generously provided me a copy of this book through Netgalley.
The world is appealing with treacherous and dangerous forests, beasts, magic and a variety of races like Cyclops for example.
There was a lot of characters that came into play but I enjoyed how Marcus, Kelvin and Jayson came together. Xerxes the staff could manage to be funny and annoying at the same time. The story was told from various POVs but it was done well because it was necessary for the story ARC and it was seamless.
I didn't quite expect it but most of the boys who set out on the quest to find The Rock of Ivanore did come back changed. I don't know if all the trials they went through (there was quite a bit) made them men but they grew wiser and possibly stronger physically and emotionally. In short this was a character driven story and a page turner.
Watch out for some interesting revelations. Some I suspected and others I didn't and they blew me away.
The beginning was a bit confusing to me - there were two points of view, but the way the other was integrated was a bit confusing. I didn't feel like the voices were different enough, and it was very jarring because I was confused as to who this other random person was. The story did come together, and then the story made a lot more sense.
The plot is a ton of fun - the happy go lucky, questish type. There were a lot of instances where I felt things were too simple. Everything seemed to simply fall into the characters paths, and given the nature of their quest, that seemed a bit unrealistic. I did like how there was an element of mystery that followed the entire plot - you weren't ever completely sure where the plot would take you next.
The characters were a ton of fun. Xerxes was a hoot. I loved his snarky comments he threw in everywhere they went. Jayson was another favorite character of mine - I loved that you never could quite figure him out. I really liked Bryn's transformation of character throughout the book. A lot of the more minor characters are what made the book for me, like Vos was in such a small part of the book but he was awesome!
Fans of middle grade fantasy will definitely enjoy this one. I had a little trouble getting into it, but once I did the pages just flew by. I wasn't completely content with the plot, but for me, the characters forgave that.
The Rock of Ivanore (The Celestine Chronicles)