Title: Warriors of the Heynai
Author: M.J. Webb
Series: Jake West #2
Published: November 4th 2011
Page Count: 286
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Shelf: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Heynai bestowed upon the people of Estia one great weapon to fight the forces of evil, a set of five stones which possess unlimited powers. They housed them in a protective box and entrusted it to a Keeper, a guardian chosen from Earth. For centuries, the Stones and the Keepers defended their world against wizards, tyrants and armies.
Until the day that two ordinary fifteen year old boys from England broke them. In ‘Jake West – The Keeper of the Stones’ the boys fought battles, freed an entire army from slavery, and waged war against an evil wizard and his legions of murderous beasts.
Now, the beleaguered Rebel Army is marching to the city of Dassilliak, pursued by the tyrant, King Vantrax, his savage beast warlord, Sawdon, and his entire Northern Army. Ahead of them lies a sizeable enemy force which is waiting to spring a deadly trap. They are running out of time and they are in desperate need of a miracle. The only weapon they have lies in ruins. Jake West is the only one who can restore it. But Jake and the seriously wounded Ben have gone home!
With this novel Webb jumps right into the action of the story, and this action comes with a huge twist from the first installment, while still picking up exactly where it left off. The action continues throughout the entire novel without a single dull moment. There are lots of laughs coupled with even more adventures.
The descriptions in this novel remain just as clear as in the first. I also appreciate that you get a better picture of what the lands look like. Descriptions are about more than just people and events now. The differences between the various peoples of the land also becomes abundantly clear. Throughout this volume the reader can see what they all look, act, and sound like.
The characters in this novel continue to be very real (while not necessarily realistically human) and they pull you further and further into the story with their trials. I love the fact that mid quest some of the characters can stop and halve a conversation about picking up girls. It just adds to their realism. The characters also remain consistent between the first and second volumes of the series. No one magically gets a new personality. Also, no one’s speech patterns change.
I love the way that Webb fills the reader in on the history of the lands. Rather than simply having a long narrative he has certain characters telling stories about past events or certain areas. This helps keep up the fast pace of the novel while filling everyone in on background. He also dangles the stories throughout the novel so you don’t have any information overloads.
Putting the date at the start of various sections is an easy, effective way to show the progression of time in a novel. Webb does so in such a way that it doesn’t intrude on or break the flow of his story telling. By integrating it right into a sentence the progression is pointed out subtly, not breaking your concentration on everything else. It also helps the reader determine what events are happening in tandem as the author does flip back and forth between the two main forces and the hero’s quest. All the while everything remains quite real.
As a whole this novel was such a fun, exhilarating read that I hated to see it end. The characters overcome their trials against all odds again and again. You cannot help but want to be part of their world. By the end of the novel you also want to grab the next as you need to know how their quests end.
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