Read Reiffen's Choice by S.C. Butler Online


Reiffen, only twelve years old, is the true heir to the thrones of both Wayland and Banking. He and his friends Avender and Ferris live in a magical world of talking animals, dwarves, and shape-shifting bears but…he lives with the shame of knowing that no one will ever let him rule these kingdoms, that their crowns will bring him nothing but betrayal and sorrow…and that heReiffen, only twelve years old, is the true heir to the thrones of both Wayland and Banking. He and his friends Avender and Ferris live in a magical world of talking animals, dwarves, and shape-shifting bears but…he lives with the shame of knowing that no one will ever let him rule these kingdoms, that their crowns will bring him nothing but betrayal and sorrow…and that he is powerless. Reiffen will have only a short life of child's innocence, a brief respite from the trial of impossible adult responsibility, the trial of attempting to finish a task he can never complete.And then he is shown the nations of his world from the peak of a fortress drear and tempted with fame and fortune and his rightful place on the throne of great kingdoms--his kingdoms. He need only surrender his humanity; kill his loves and he would have his childhood fantasy.He would be granted great Black knowledge, more furious than anything he had ever imagined. He could desire justice…but would have to kill everything he loved to get it. His prayers would be answered…if only he would sacrifice everything he held dear.Reiffen's Choice is the first book in a trilogy about innocence and struggle that can only be compared to Eragon and Eldest, The Once and Future King and Raymond E. Feist's Magician. It will be an experience you will never forget....

Title : Reiffen's Choice
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765314772
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 464 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Reiffen's Choice Reviews

  • Garrett
    2019-01-31 18:45

    I liked this book. It was a good read after the confusion of Crystal Rain. While some of it felt like a rip off of Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time, in general I felt like it had enough differences and conflict to keep it interesting.Setting: Nothing too interesting here, for me. Didn't seem much different from any of the hundreds of other fantasy books out there. The author spent a bit too much time, in my opinion, giving meaningless descriptions of the surroundings. The dwarf caves were interesting and different, however.Plot: This was basically the standard journey plot structure, and even included the archetypal underground passage that indicates new discovery and transition from youth to adult - typical bildungsroman in that sense. However, the one who seemed to have changed and grown the most, indeed the one who the story is about, is the one being rescued. Very interesting. The story was set up nicely for the next book in the series. I am actually interested in reading more.Conflict: Pretty good. Lots of stuff going on with the main plot. There seemed to be a couple subplots that have been set up for the series, but nothing else really stood out in this book. This made the the book feel a bit simplistic, but still interesting.Character: I liked way the various raced were represented differently than in other books I've read. Indeed, it seems strange that nobody else has had dwarves that seem literally as hard and heavy as stone. I was a bit thrown off by the opening with the bear, and thought it was a bit of a cheat to hide his shapeshifting and talking a secret for awhile, but it was different enough to keep me reading. Reiffen had some good internal conflicts that made things interesting. I found the use of Ferris as the POV for most of the book a bit strange, especially since the author took a couple opportunities to move around viewpoint using the omniscient viewpoint. I would have liked more moving in and out, since that is the reason why someone would use omniscient in the first place.

  • Hope
    2019-02-19 21:30

    It was alright, but the story kind of lagged at times. I was anicipating a book featuring the title character, but he hardly has any chapters devoted to him! I guess it kept his character more mysterious or something; but I really would have liked more from Reiffen. I actually picked up this book because I read the back of the 2nd in the trilogy which peaked my interest. Otherwise, I never would have read this (I wouldn't have been able to get past the artwork on the cover -_-;;;) This one seems to just be a build-up to the next book, where hopefully some real plot will devlop. I will read the next one, because, as I said, that was the whole point of starting this. But seriously, everyone is so obsessed with "trilogies" that it feels like they pad out the stories to fill 3 books worth when there really isn't that many pages needed to tell the story. :(

  • Travis
    2019-02-05 15:26

    Reiffen's Choice by S. C. Butler- This is the first book in The Stoneways Trilogy. The second book is called Queen Ferris (released in 2008) and the last book is called The Magician's Daughter (released in 2009). Reiffen's Choice was released by Tor publishing in 2007 and is S. C. Butler's first novel.Reiffen's Choice is about a boy who is the rightful heir to two kingdoms thrones, but is unable to claim them as of yet. So the boy, Reiffen, lives in an area called Valing until the time he is able to become king. While living in Valing, he befriends another boy named Avender, a girl named Ferris, a dwarf named Nolo, and a shape-changing bear named Redburr. But living in the secluded country of Valing hasn't stopped the attempts at Reiffen's life. While each has failed in some regard, a plot to kidnap the young prince is successful in delivering him not to his uncle, who rules in his place and is the one responsible for the attempts, but the evil Three Wizards. It's up to Avender, Ferris, Nolo and Redburr to brave the underground road called the Stoneways to save him before the Wizards can change him. But things aren't what they seem.Negatives:1) Dull. The story was really hard to read. Everything just felt boring. The pacing is slow and bogged down by a number of problems. The biggest reason for this is the descriptions. While they were very good, it just was too much describing and not enough story telling, thus causing the overall pacing to become dull and dry. Then there were times in which the description jumps into a place where I had no idea what was being described and I found myself thoroughly confused. This happens mostly when the rescuing party is underground, a lot of caves that were described were just really confusing and nonsensical. Even without the confusing descriptions, everything is just overly described. It seemed like you were given instructions on what you were supposed to be seeing instead of using your imagination to picture various things. It felt like I was reading instructions. This also caused the dullness of the story. The amount of names, also causes the pacing to slow. I always have a problem with too many names, it annoys me. Here, you get at least two or three new names dropped each chapter with little to no explanation or reason for a new person. Some of the people added were needed, but others just were extra and useless. Because of the insane amount of names, I found that at one point, characters were mixed up. It really didn't help the pacing to sit there and try to remember who this was or why this person is needed. Because of these reasons, the story felt slow and was hard to read at times.2) Main Characters. The characters were awful. They weren't developed, most of them were cliché, and were mostly unlikable. I'll start with the worst character; Redburr, the shape-changing being. He grated on my nerves and every time he appeared, I felt angry and cheated. He is supposed to be this lovable character that the children love and adore, but what I see is a cruel, lazy jerk. He is so unlikable and annoying that I wanted him to die, oh and he has the dying and coming back thing down, which is a disappointment. He is shallow and stupid. He thinks that everything he says is right and because of that, everyone buys into what he says and that is just wrong. At times, there are parts in which he starts to become something likable, but somehow, someway the moment gets ruined by what he says and does. Oh and not to mention that almost every time we see him, he's either eating or complaining about not eating. It's annoying. Nolo, the dwarf, is another problem. He has almost no real personality and mostly just seems there to be a superman-like character. Dwarves, in this world, are basically invincible. At first, it's not a big problem, but as the story progresses, there never seems to be a situation in which Nolo could be hurt. Acid? No problem, let's just walk through it. Getting bashed by a sword? Not even a scratch. There is one good thing about Nolo, he didn't get on my nerves. Avender is another problem. He just isn't interesting. It's more like he is just there and that's it. Towards the end he becomes something, but it just isn't explored because we've come to the end of the book. But we do get a healthy dose of him in the first part! Oh joy for blandness! The other two main characters, Ferris and Reiffen, weren't as bad. Ferris had her problems and was annoying, at various times. At least she had a personality and some sign of character development, but not enough to be out of the negative. Reiffen, on the other hand, almost saves the book. Almost, being the key word. The problem is that he is only interesting at during the middle section of the novel, which I thought his parts should have been the main story. But everywhere else, he has little to no personality or presence, and for someone who gets kidnapped at the beginning, I found it hard to really care. There is a simple reason the characters are terrible, the dialogue. Almost everything said felt either forced or unrealistic. It just didn't work and caused the characters to not really have a personality. Even though the main characters at various times showed some depth and development, it just was forgotten for more descriptions.3) Songs and Poems. This may be the more mundane or silly point I'm making, but they just really got under my skin. They were pointless and unbearable to read. The rhymes weren't clever or even good. For example you had this to read, “Sky and peak!/ The breezes blow! The mast goes creak!”. Clever. They felt childish, and I just didn't care for them. It pained me to read them.Positives:1) Secondary Characters. Some of the secondary characters were actually wonderful. They really did bring some interesting points and added to the story in some way. For example, late in the story, Avender finds a talking rock named Durk, who I really enjoyed. I won't give more away, but he just was interesting. The other secondary character I'll mention is Molio, who befriends Reiffen while Reiffen is imprisoned with the Wizards. His timid personality and the way he is scared and worried about Reiffen is really touching and heartbreaking. Which makes a later scene so much more potent and devastating. I really did enjoy reading about these characters and it's a shame that they were only bit players.2) Plot. While not the most original story and marred with cliché, it did have promise. The concept of Reiffen being captured was interesting, but it just wasn't executed very well. Instead of having the main story line focus on what Reiffen is doing, we are forced to read through the boring and unexciting rescuers. Really, the middle of the story should have focused more on Reiffen's struggle, because it was done very well and the novel could have been better. Instead we are focused on two to three chapters of Redburr, Nolo, Avender, and Ferris traveling. That's the main story line, the travels of the group. But even with the boring chapters of the traveling, when Reiffen's chapters came up, they were wonderful and just great.3) Wizards. I loved the Wizards. They were the most interesting characters in the novel, mostly because of the mystery and the unknown behind them. They each had a distinct personality and were developed very well. They may be the reason why the middle chapters with Reiffen are so good. They have a presence of evil, but at the same time, you don't think they are. They are just wonderful.Side Notes:1) Cliché. I didn't want to mention it in the negatives because I didn't have to much of a problem with them. Basically, the story is cliché to the extreme. If you shook about ten or so fantasy novels out, you'd get Reiffen's Choice. There are times when the novel has neat idea, it just gets buried by clichés.2) Why? Why is the main story about the rescuers and not about Reiffen? I mentioned this above, but why have the main story involve traveling that has almost nothing exciting happen? There's no fights, just sights. There's no drama. At least with the Reiffen subplot, it's exciting and it had a lot of great dramatic moments. Just why have the main focus be on something so boring?3) Cover Art. If you were to judge the book by the cover, you'd stay away (which wouldn't be a bad idea) from this one. Honestly, the only thing good about it is the bear. The boy looks gross and wrong. It doesn't help that it reminds me of a Fabio-esque romance novel cover, with the dwarf holding the boy oh so closely. Then the muted, dull colors really reflect the story. Plus, when did this scene that's depicted on the cover happen? I never remember Nolo riding Redburr with Reiffen (if that's who it is) in his hands towards enemies. Wait, there were no enemies except at the beginning who were killed off by one of the Three Wizards. This kind of cover is why fantasy novels get a bad name.Overall: 1/5Final Thoughts:This book fails. It fails at engaging characters. It fails at being an exciting rescue attempt. It fails at describing anything. It just fails. Even with the saving grace that was Reiffen's scenes in the middle, it fails. Sure those helped the novel from being a worse than what is it, but not by much. The real problem I had with the novel is Redburr. I hated him. He wasn't a good, likable, or heroic character. He is why I didn't enjoy the story. His laziness and unsatisfiable hunger wasn't charming, it was pathetic. I can look around the slow pacing, the descriptions that were like poorly explained instructions, the story bogged down in cliché, and the bland characters. I just can't look pass one of the worst characters I've ever read. Redburr is what made this novel unbearable.

  • Fatbaldguy60
    2019-02-05 19:38

    I will start off by saying the twist at the end of the book is the only thing that made me decide to take a look at the next book in the series. It really took things to another level.Things begin with Reiffen, heir to two thrones, who lives in exile in Valing, an out-of-the-way place. His mother still expects that he will gain the throne someday, and at the beginning it appears the time is near for Reiffen to return to court. Before things start to heat up we are introduced to some different folk. The Bryddin are a race of dwarves, each individually created, sort of like a signed, limited edition print. They have a number of the typical dwarf attributes, and I liked them. During the book you get a couple of tales of the Bryddin, which are well done. They have apparently only recently broken through the surface and started interacting with humans.Redburr is a Shaper, and can change his shape at will. Af far as I can tell, there are no more Shapers around, all the others having "gone native", permanently in animal form. You get no real background on the Shapers, and Redburr is a bit simplistic in my opinion. A story about the Shapers would have been a nice touch.The nokken, who you only see at the beginning, are my favorite. They are well developed, and I would have liked to see more of them. Being aquatic, that would have been a problem.The Wizards are apparently among the very few than can [or will? there seems to be a social prohibition in effect as well] use magic. They have been out of the loop for a while after causing the death of Reiffen's father, which allowed his uncle to take the thrones.The kidnapping starts the real story. The Wizards intend to cause upheaval with Reiffen. He is given the choice to be their puppet willingly or be forced to do it. Fornoch, the quietest of the three Wizards, convinces the others to give Reiffen the freedom of their keep while he ponders the choice. Reiffen discovers a library which becomes his sanctuary; a library with a large selection of books concerning magic.In the meantime, Nolo [a Brydd], Redburr, and Avender and Ferris {Reiffen's young friends] set off to try to free Reiffen from Ussene. This is where the story really starts to lag. The trip from Valing to Ussene and Reiffen's wanderings around the fortress, seem a bit dark and lacking tension. Near the end Reiffen is forced to commit an act against his will, and is then mutilated for some reason which never seemed to be explained, although it is connected to the twist at the end. I am not sure if this is intentional. Finally Reiffen faces the choice, and what a choice he makes. Like a said, I will read the next book just because of the brilliant ending, but the beginning and middle just seemed to drag on to me. So, a mixed review, but overall a decent read.

  • Scott Marlowe
    2019-01-28 13:41

    Reiffen's Choice by S.C. Butler is a story that reminded me most of a cross between Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. The former because the cast of characters includes a young girl and two young boys, and the latter because the world of Reiffen's Choice is very much traditional fantasy though with some flavoring of its own.The young adults in this tale are Reiffen, the exiled heir to the throne, Avender, a commoner who is also Reiffen's friend, and Ferris, the headstrong girl who rounds out our Harry Potter-like trio. This edition of the novel was published in 2007, so I don't think I'm being unfair in making this comparison.Butler distinguishes himself by adding in a Shaper by the name of Redburr, who most often appears as a bear but also as a bat, an eagle, and even a man. Presumably he can take any shape, though these are the ones he makes use of in this first novel of what is a three book series. Also, there is Nolo, a Dwarf who is a bit unlike the usual dwarves we are all familiar with. Dwarves in Butler's novel are limited in number; there are only eight hundred or so, and no women. Their skin is as hard (or harder) then rock and they are completely immune to the effects of magic.The villains in this tale are three wizards determined to use Reiffen to gain the throne that Reiffen himself will never possess. To this end, they kidnap the boy, setting off a chain of events that culminates in Avender, Ferris, Redburr, and Nolo setting off to rescue him. While Reiffen is tempted by the three wizards, those four make the arduous journey to the wizards' stronghold. Some of the story is taken up with this journey; it's easy to see why tales of this nature fell out of favor as once you've read enough of these sorts of stories, well, the traveling and discovering new places wears thin. Still, while there is definitely some text that could have been cut, it all flows along well enough.The novel is billed as "YA". While I would recommend it as such, I also didn't think it was only for young adult readers. It's a good story with some interesting characters and ideas. If you're looking for a three book series that has hints of the traditional fantasy many of us grew up with, I'd give Reiffen's Choice a look.This review also at

  • M.A. Kropp
    2019-01-26 17:26

    Reiffen is a young boy living in partial exile. He is the true heir to the throne, but because of an attack by powerful magician's before his parents' marriage could be formally akcnowledged, there is a question on his claim. The doubt allowed his uncle to usurp the throne. His mother has raised Reiffen to one day claim the throne as his own. She is preparing to take him to the capital to challenge his uncle when Reiffen is kidnapped by agents of the Three, the only remaining Wizards in the land, who have plans of their own for domination of the world they live in. Reiffen's two best friends, as well as a Dwarf and a shapeshifter who is most comfortable as a bear, set out on a secret mission to reacue him.This was an enjoyable book. I was a bit confused at first, because the story seems to be more about Avender, Reiffen's best friend, than about Reiffen himself, and I wondered about the title. But it is resolved well in the end, and I put the book down with more "Ah, ok, so that's what it meant" than "So, why is it called that?" The story moves along pretty quickly once the rescue party sets out, and is not held back by the long trek through underground caves and tunnels they must make. There's enough action and the pacing is good so it does not get really boring. The point of view does shift to Reiffen at times, so we don't lose sight of him and what is happening to him. The world is fairly well drawn, and the culture and lives of the Dwarves is interesting, if a bit short changed, in my opinion. I would have liked to know more about them, although I must admit that might have held the story back a bit.Characters are interesting and well-drawn. The Dwarves are solid and stable, with a sensitivity to stone that borders on magic, although in this world, true magic has no effect on them. The children are brave and at times heroic, which is to be expected, but are not above real fear and doubts that keep them truer to their ages than some books I've read. The shapeshifter, Redburr, provides some truly funny scenes.This is the first book in the series, and it left me wondering what the consequences of Reiffen's Choice will be. I guess I will have to read the others to find out.

  • Lisa
    2019-02-01 17:45

    The first thing I'll say about this book is that it was clearly designed to be part of a trilogy, with the last chapter more of a teaser for book 2 than a conclusion. (pet peeve of mine) If it weren't for that, I probably would have given it four stars. Perhaps after I digest it more I'll decide I'm not so peeved after all and give it four.Other than that, I found it to be interesting, and well written. I'd say it was geared towards teenagers, but it's great for adults in the mood for some light fantasy. The world building is very interesting, Butler builds on the "flat earth" concept, which is something I have trouble with. I just get a little nagging voice in my head that says, "But. . .". I subconsciously kept trying to theorize a possible solution for a flat planet (or part of a planet?) to sustain an atmosphere, gravity, and the like. Steven laughed at me repeatedly.Be warned, two of the main characters are whiny brats, but rather amiable whiny brats nonetheless, and part of the charm of the book is watching them mature. One thing about this book I highly recommend is that it was refreshingly devoid of innuendo (or blatant sexuality). An increasingly rare trait in a fantasy novel, I was quite delighted. I might have to give it four stars just for that. . .

  • Emily
    2019-01-30 17:18

    I have just finished reading Reiffen’s Choice by S.C. Butler and cannot recommend it enough. It is an enthralling book, of magic and Dwarves, of children and men and animals who can change their shape - from bear to bat to man and back to bear.A story both dark and bright - of the light and the darkness. Few books have made me think and dream as much of late. In some places it is reminicent of Tolkien as in the Abyss at the bottom of the world in the real of the Dwarves. In others of C.S. Lewis as in animals who speak. But, page after page, it urges you to go on. To turn the page and read the next line. To find out about the Brydd and the Bryydin, about what happend to the other Shapers annd where exactly the Wizards are from. But we are left, in the end with more questions than answers - how old is this world? How were Bryyds and Areft and the others killed? They were (are?), gods it would seem, and yet they were defeated. How? Why? Can the same tactics used on Areft work again on the Wizards?I cannot wait to read the sequel - Queen Ferris. And I am sure the final volume as well, whenever it comes out. 5 stars for S.C. Butler for story superbly imagined and wonderfully put to the page. This is a book worth reading.

  • Katherine
    2019-01-26 17:21

    My friend Paula really liked this book, so I stuck with it even though I was having a lot of trouble getting into it. I can see how a lot of people who aren't me will love this book. It's not horrible, it's just not my cup of tea. The setting parts of the book are really well done, but I'm not so sure about the characterization. The author also does some stuff that annoys me, like the shmeerps. I'm also not sure about his gender roles; the only non-mommy is Ferris, who's feisty but seems to spend a lot of time complaining about needing a bath. I'm giving the book three stars anyway because the setting stuff is so good.I wish there were separate stars for good writing and for positive or negative reader buttons being pushed. This book has evil wizards, dwarves, and talking animals in a pseudomedieval setting. I fear that my personal reader buttons are pro-wizard, anti-pseudomedieval, and I'm apparently dwarf-neutral at best. I also apparently like talking animals (especially talking shmeerps) less than I would expect.

  • Chris Gardner
    2019-02-02 18:31

    A classic tale of friendship, and the right/wrong choices we can make. A young prince is kidnapped by evil wizards to bend him to their will. They give him a choice. Willingly join them and go against everything the boy has been taught and stands for, or join them as a puppet without a will.[return]Two to the prince's young friends with the aid of a dwarf and a shape changing bear set out on a quest to liberate young Reiffen.[return][return]The main of the book is the two kids travels to the fortress of the wizards that hold Reiffen, under the earth, and Reiffen's battle of the mind with the Wizards. The wizards offer comfort, power, and finally pain and mental agony.[return][return]Who wins?[return][return]While a young adult book, an interesting question is asked. With all Reiffen has gone through, he does escape physically, has he really escaped. He is still bound to the wizards through his hatred of them. Is this just one of the bindings, of many, they created? [return][return]A solid story. Highly recommended.

  • Olgalijo
    2019-02-06 17:28

    Even if at the very beginning Reiffen's Choice made me think of an exclusively children's book (its main characters being 13 year olds), I soon got caught into it's complex structure. The story is pretty simple: Boy destined to have an important role in the future is abducted by some very bad wizards who want to take control of the whole world by turning him to the dark side (my very first thought: are we going to have a fantasy version of Darth Vader?).Of course, boy's BFFs set out in a quest to save him from the bad guys, accompanied, of course by a couple of fantastic creatures.So, What was the complex structure I was talking about? the Mythology. We have our humans surrounded by sorcerers, dwarfs, talking seals, and shape shifters, and all of them have a history, a culture of their own, and a unique way of thinking related to their beginnings. It made me think about mixing The Lord of the Rings with a not so archane version of the Silmarillion....

  • Eric
    2019-01-30 18:40

    Reiffen's Choice was a flawed book with a pretty good book hidden inside.The story was extremely slow to start. I literally only read the first half because I kept forgetting to put more books on my PDA. Around halfway through the story, it began to get interesting.Write his sentences backward for no reason, the author sometimes does. It was like being read a story by Yoda, or Mike Joy from the UFC.The end was really slow and meandering and largely unnecessary as well.Those things being said, there were good parts about this book. The world described is pretty interesting, and I would like to know more about it. The characters were sympathetic and believable. The enigmatic forces of evil remained aloof and inscrutable, which was nice.If this book had been about half as long, it could have been excellent. The story, once it picked up steam, was interesting enough that I will give the sequel a chance to grab me before I give up entirely.

  • Catherine Fitzsimmons
    2019-02-07 14:43

    Three children live a peaceful life in a quiet mountaintop manor when two of them, a displaced heir to the thrones of two kingdoms and his friend, are kidnapped and the former whisked off to the stronghold of three great, evil mages. Paired up with a dwarf and a shape-shifting bear, the other two travel a difficult journey underground to rescue him.This was a really enjoyable read. Right from the beginning, the story drew me in, the opening introduction to the world setting an easy pace before the conflict begins. There was something distinctly classic about the author’s voice, yet he set up a very rich, unique world in this novel. The whole story is fairly slow-paced, but the tension is ever-present and left me wondering what was going to happen next. It’s pure escapism and was really a delight to read. I’m looking forward to reading the second in this trilogy.

  • Francesca Forrest
    2019-01-31 17:47

    There were a number of things I liked very much about this book and other things that I didn't like. The things I did like had to do mainly with interesting inventions and details about the world (e.g., there are talking seals in this world, and I liked them very much; dwarves are also very interesting in this world--their nature, creation, mode of life are all very cool). The things I didn't like had to do with elements of plotting and things relating to fantasy tropes, and part of it is definitely me as a reader and not the story at all. The novel did make me *think* in a good way, though. I'm curious about the sequel and concluding story and will eventually read them.

  • Jeffrey
    2019-02-20 15:35

    This was a decent young adult story. The Cosmology was rather different from most fantasy novels, but the plot was fairly simplistic and did not have any decent surprises. The characters were all predictable. The mythology focused on the various races each being the children of a particular god (there were no goddesses that I could tell). Apparently the human progenitor was rather mean and spent his time hunting humans for sport until he was killed. Three evil wizards sprang up from his body and the novel takes place just a decade after they revealed themselves to the world.

  • Darcy
    2019-01-24 20:41

    There were some things I liked about this book: it was a successful rescue mission, the Abyss was cool, and the journey was fast moving. But that's not enough to make me like it, and I don't know if I can sum up why I didn't. I didn't like the beginning. It was long, and it was hard to understand why Reiffen was important. The book got better as it went on, but I didn't really get to know Avender or any of the other characters. Then, at the end, I'm not exactly sure what happened. I think evil might have triumphed.

  • Cynthia
    2019-02-18 19:45

    This beginning book of the trilogy does a good job of putting a lot of story into the first volume. There are some standard archetypes but also a couple of interesting new twists that I found appealing. But I can't, with good conscience recommend that your read the book now that I have finished the series. I have set the review of this book low, not on its own value, but because of the weakness of the rest of the series.

  • Mia
    2019-01-28 21:29

    There wasn't a lot of depth to this book; and I realize that the natural response to a statement like that is to point out that it is a book for kids or young adults. The problem is that the kids in the book didn't seem to have much of an internal life other than being scared or uncomfortable. They are challenged very little and have very little independent agency; even the titular character and his titular event seem anticlimactic -- especially since it comes near the end of the book.

  • Scribblesinink (Scribbler)
    2019-01-23 20:25

    It was an good read, if somewhat (overly?) confusing sometimes with the descriptions of the underground world. Not so captivating that I feel an urgent need to go look for the rest of the series, cliffhanger ending notwithstanding.

  • February Four
    2019-02-14 15:25

    Saw the ending from a mile away, but I didn't quite anticipate it 100%. (Don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I won't say anything.) That ending twist immediately kicked the sequel from "maybe a nice read" to "oh, this has real potential". Looking forward to the next one.

  • Kevin
    2019-02-12 21:25

    An interesting fantasy. Not quite sword and sorcery - the wizards are the bad guys. Will definitely read the rest of the series.

  • Victoria
    2019-02-16 16:38

    Boring, sort of a lord of the Rings type of plot. The end is frustrationg after reading about how long they walked and only have the book end were it started.

  • Staci
    2019-01-25 18:33

    I made it about half way through this one, but decided i didn't really care what happened any more. so i'm not going to force myself to finish.

  • B. Zedan
    2019-02-09 19:18

    Oh no, prince is captured and there is magic and wizards and a quest!Also talking seals and bear shapeshifter, which is why this got two stars instead of one.

  • Brian
    2019-02-08 16:26

    This was a good read with a new and interesting world. I am hoping that the rest of the series is as good.