Saturday, 12 June 2010
120 pages, Paperback
Interest age: 12 +
Reading age: 8
Nayuleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Summary from Barrington Stoke
Tom Yamada must fight the demon Lords of Pain in a series of duels called the Contest - with the whole world at stake. Tom's survived his duel with the Lord of the Mountain. Now he must face the Lord of the Void - the king of darkness, with a heart as black as his armour. Will Tom manage to defeat this Lord?
Books ending on a cliff-hanger are evil. Well, not evil in the evil sense of the word. Evil in the 'this book is excellent why can't people write faster' mood. (note: I understand why books aren't necessarily written faster. Writing is extraordinarily hard work. But a lot of fun too). Starting off this review with the ending is probably a bit bizarre. You haven't read the end yet. I think if people somehow get through the book without being hooked, the last page will have them pre-ordering the third.
Just as in the first book, Tom's mother and master are the two main secondary characters. The Dragon (his master) provides a fair few funny moments. His mother - well Tom worries a lot more about her. He pulls out his super confident act, probably in the hope she'll worry less. I don't think anyone will break it to him that mothers never stop worrying. Tom does cover up a few scarier elements of this tale, one which made me jump.
Along with more background details about why Tom is fighting the Lords, there is another element added in: his friend Sharif. It's hard being a hero when you can't share your life with your best friend. Tom is shocked at how Sharif treats him. This tension between them raises the stakes with the 'evil' ending. I find myself not worrying about Tom's fights with the Lords, but how he'll survive life during and after the event. Saving the world is understandably a good deed. A very good one. But do people think about what happens to a hero after they succeed? (Heads off before this review spirals into a thought session)
Overall, there is more peril and twists than the first story. The background story has been set, and now more areas of Tom's life are explored. There is a glossary at the back of the book, for the terms used, plus a sneak preview of the next book: The Lord of Tears.
Make sure you've checked out the first book in this series, The Lord of the Mountain.
Check out all the action on the 5 Lords of Pain website.