Friday, July 5, 2013
Keeper of Reign by Emma Right
Long time ago, Elfies (Elves?) were normal sized, until a keeper lost the Gift from the King and shrank everyone. And now Jules, the oldest child of a Keeper family has to keep his family safe when his mom is abducted. He finds that this is linked to their ancient enemy who wants to destroy all Elfies.
The world-building was, I think, not that good. There was an interesting prologue, and we are eventually given a backstory (rather late in the book I feel), but there's not enough explanation for me. Why are the Elfies hunted? What happened to the King? Why is there a difference between Handover and Reign? Who/What is Handover/Reign ruled by? Sure, these things don't have any direct relation to the plot, but they do help make a fantasy world more realistic.
I would say that for me, the weakest part of the book were the characters. The story is told mainly from Jules' point of view, but this is one of the few books where I think more viewpoints are needed. The book does switch viewpoints at times (especially when Jules is separated from his family), but a very important character - Miranda is missing her own voice. She's one of the most complex characters (a traitor with a conscience?) and without a viewpoint to flesh her out, she remains nothing more than an irritating traitor.
Apart from Miranda, I think the other characters weren't very well-written either. I didn't understand a lot of character motivations. The story was fairly fast-paced (well, they were pretty much chased the whole way), so it may be that space for characterisation was taken up by plot.
If you like fast-paced fantasy books, you'll probably like this. Unfortunately, I probably won't be picking up the sequels (if there are sequels - but with the ending, it seems like the start of a series), because it really isn't my cup of tea.
Disclaimer: I got a free galley from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.