Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Review: The Armor of Light
Author: Karen E. Hoover
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pub Date: September 2011
Book Source: Received from the author (and have also purchased a hardcover copy)
Ember has been accepted into the mage academy, but not without cost. She has gained a new enemy, ancient and dark, whose entire purpose is to destroy all white magic and her along with it. After nearly losing her life in a brutal attack, DeMunth is assigned her guardian, and the keystone he wears, The Armor of Light, begins the transition that will make it a true power.
Kayla has lost most everything of importance to her—the people, the prestige, and all she fought for the past ten years. With nothing left to lose, she continues her search for the birthplace of The Sapphire Flute and the Wolfchild she believes to be its player. Her journey will take her to strange, foreign, and often dangerous places, and everything she had thought to be true will be proven wrong.
In a showdown full of betrayal and heroic loss, Ember and Kayla finally meet on the battlefield, fighting a war on two fronts—against C'Tan and her people, and the mysterious enemy bent on destroying all magic—the shadow weavers.
Yes, my friends, I am back with my first review after a l-o-n-g hiatus! When Karen Hoover contacted me and asked me to review her second book in the Wolfchild Saga I simply couldn't say no (even though I'll be the first to admit I am not likely to be reviewing regularly just yet). I had been really, REALLY looking forward to continuing this series ever since reading The Sapphire Flute. In fact, some of you might recall just how much I loved that book. I made some pretty bold assertions, likening Hoover to some timeless, favorite authors -- Madeleine L'Engle, Lloyd Alexander... I stand behind those comments 100%.
So often it seems that second books in series don't quite live up to the debuts. Thankfully, this is not remotely the case with The Armor of Light. This book is every bit as good as The Sapphire Flute, and in fact is quite possibly even better! To put it simply, these stories are those that I have always dreamed of being able to write. Not only that, I sincerely wish these books had been around when I was a young reader, just so I could have that much more time to re-read them over the years. I can't wait for my own daughter to read these books down the road and enjoy them as much as I have.
Hoover has made fantasy and adventure new again for me. I am completely captivated by the quest of the Chosen Ones (of whom we've only met a few) to unite the magical keystones and save their world. There is a wide array of characters on both the side of good and that of evil who are wonderfully developed. Relationships between many of the characters are molded, deepened, and in some heartbreaking cases, torn apart. With this second book the pieces of the puzzle really begin to come together, as we follow Ember's and Kayla's separate adventures that are destined to join as one. I truly cannot wait to see what Hoover's next book in the series brings to the story as we discover the next keystone and Chosen One.
I urge you to give Hoover's Wolfchild Saga a try if you enjoy adventure and fantasy. The story is so engaging that I believe you'll find yourself totally immersed in the world that Hoover has created. As I read her books, I had a vivid picture of the scenes taking place and the story still sits with me long after finishing The Armor of Light.