Friday, 20 July 2012

Eligere (Seranfyll, Book 2) by Christina Daley

EligereI read the first book in this series last year and was totally charmed by Seranfyll. As such I was looking forward to finding out where Domrey, Rain and co would be come Book 2. Eligere picks up the story a few years later. Liberated slaves Rain and Snow are missing Domrey who is travelling the world in the service of the King. Rain in particular is unimpressed with the demands placed on them by their tutor and she is missing Coal, who is away at university studying law. She is delighted when the unusual little family are reunited and Domrey allows them all to travel to Amyrania with him, while he performs a favour for the King. Snow on the other hand is less keen, having heard stories of the Storm Siders of Amyrania being cannibals. The trip throws up a number of challenges and even Rain gets more than she bargained for.

Eligere introduces a number of new characters, some of whom I am guessing will feature in further books in the series. There is even a little romance for members of the Seranfyll clan, although as a book mooted as suitable for ages 10+ it is all very subtle and cleanly done. As in the first book the author tackles important themes in an accessible way for younger readers. The ills of slavery are touched on again but the more dominant theme relates to the divisions between the two sides of Amyrania and the need to overcome the past for the common good.

While there were some lovely pieces of prose and I still enjoyed the quirky magic; Domrey's knitted spells and new character Phin's illustrations that come to life, this installment didn't hit the mark with me in the same way. Domrey didn't feature as strongly, which was a shame as I took a shine to him, and Rain came over as a bit of a petulant child. As the central character in this book my irritations with her distanced me. Also I found several typos and there was some really clumsy writing that seriously detracted from the stronger parts. As an example "...that allowed Domrey to take them out on real holiday kinds of things, like to the theatre, museums, the market, or as was their most favourite past time, on rides." 

Overall this book felt like it was written for the bottom end of the 10 yr + audience, where the first had a more universal appeal. I think unfortunately it falls short of the success that is Seranfyll and wonder where the next book in the series will go, as the door is left wide open for the tale to continue.

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 2*

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