KINGS OF MURAINE
A YEAR TO THE DAY since my dad, Lance Ravier, died. Somehow, it felt like just yesterday. The shock of it was still so raw. That night changed my life, and everything, forever. I saw them. Two strangers from another world. One with glowing yellow eyes. The other with vampire fangs. The one with fangs claimed to be a king. But he was a young king, at best. The King of Paragon. He broke the news to me. My dad wasn’t from Earth. Instead, he was from a world filled with magic: Muraine. His other home.
After thirteen years of hiding the truth, of lying to me, all he left behind were hidden belongings from a secret life. And the dragon-horse: Awngeleik. How could I refuse King Talok, when asked to look after her . . . to help keep her from falling into the enemy’s hands? The grasp of Zymarc, King of Vitiosyns. Either amused or psychotic, I agreed to it. What could happen to top my dad dying or death itself? If I knew what would happen, I might have made a different choice.
Regardless, the pages are still turning. I still have time. He still looks at me with fear for what I really am, and hatred for what I might do. If only she had not done what she did. None of this would have happened . . .
4 out of 5 (very good)
Kings of Muraine is the first book in The Journals of Ravier and what you get is a high fantasy story told by a thirteen-year-old boy, Tyler. He lost his dad in a bombing or so he thought. It appears things aren't as straightforward as he presumed.
This was a great read that kept my interest and the pages turning. The world-building is great, giving you clear and concise scenes of both sides of the portal. With Gemma by his side, Tyler has adventures he never even dreamed of as he tries to unravel who his father was and, in turn, who he is.
If I had anything negative to say, it would be this. First off, the numbers. I loved and loathed them! I really enjoyed how they ruled Tyler's life and had such an impact on him but I also loathed how they showed up so often. Some of the 'clues' were cryptic enough, without adding numbers to the mix! The other thing for me is the simple amount of characters in here. By the time we reached the end, I was struggling to remember who was who, which side of the portal they belonged, etc.
Fair warning also - this book ends on one helluva cliffhanger with a character who seems to be both good and evil - or maybe evil with designs I don't yet know about! Yes, I am left with questions unanswered but that just leads me onto the next book so I'm happy.
A great fantasy book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Definitely recommended by me.
*A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion.*
5 out of 5 (Must Read)
If you like fantasy, read this book. If you like mystery, read this book. If you like sitting on the edge of your seat with breath held, read this book. If you like starting a new series and really getting to know characters, read this book. By the end of the book, I really felt like I knew Tyler and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next in his life. I felt no less attached to many of the secondary characters, with a special fondness for Gemma.
As Tyler unraveled the mystery surrounding who, or what, his dad really was, and by extension, who he is meant to be himself, I laughed, cried, and cheered him on. The imagination that this author displays in the creation of this breathtaking fantasy world is sure to pull you in, and it will definitely leave you feeling like you need the next book in the series.
I liked it so much that I told my family members to read it too!
Books Are Life
4 out of 5 (very good)
Everything he thought he was, he wasn't. Everything he thought he understood he had to re-discover to actually learn the truth. Tyler, a 14-year-old who has lost much very early in life stumbles into a shocking revelation that makes such a loss seem inconsequential at best.
Author J R Vaineo has crafted a unique, imaginative and truly fascinating realm of fantasy and magic where things are not as they seem. Readers are taken on an exciting adventure, following Tyler and his companion, Gemma, who seek to unravel a mystery that will ultimately change his life forever.
Cryptic clues and paradoxical numbers confuse and, often, confound both the characters as well as this reader, as the plot thickens. Characters pour out of the pages in droves, and like the many people we run into in our daily lives, some are important and some are just there to fill the void. I might have liked a glossary to help keep the multitude sorted, but having read Charles Dicken's Bleak House (where there are more characters then you know what to do with) the imaginative array was not overwhelming. They added to the complexity of the tale and gave a true-to-life feel to the story.
Kings of Muraine is the first book in The Journals of Ravier and end with a perplexingly pleasing puzzle that points readers to part two, Hunt the Dragon Within. Thrilling and bewildering at the same time, this is a tale readers will find as difficult to put down as it is to unravel. Recommended for readers who love to not see what's coming next!
Cynthia A. Morgan