This is the first novel I've ever read in Spanish, so this was somewhat of a personal challenge. I'm glad to say that I read all of its 317 pages (andThis is the first novel I've ever read in Spanish, so this was somewhat of a personal challenge. I'm glad to say that I read all of its 317 pages (and that doesn't include the pages in my dictionary) in less than a week. It just might be back on speaking terms with Spanish. Anyway I am very eager to read the rest of the trilogy as well as the prequel.
Everyone knew that Dana was different though they all treated her the same as everyone else. She never played much with others, spending most of her time on her own... or rather with her friend Kai that no one else seems aware of. One day, a wizard of the first order comes to take her away from her family and farmer's life to have her attend the famous school of witchcraft of The Tower. Dana's world changes forever a she begins to understand just how special she is and that things aren't always what they seem.
A traditional children's fantasy book the likes of many and yet a very entertaining read all the way through. The main plot and various subplots as well the general pace of the book could easily have made it a young adult novel. The writing however makes it pretty clear that it is a book aimed at a younger audience... which is all very well because otherwise I wouldn't have picked it up in Spanish. The vocabulary is purposefully limited and pretty accessible.
Nevertheless, the trilogy is a bestseller in Spain and as far as I know, it's been translated in French and English. It's a wonderful and touching fantasy tale which will not fail to delight young readers. While the book's premises are typical of traditional fantasy (wizards, unicorns, elves, dwarfs, etc.), it's overall different enough to grab the reader's attention to the very last page.
Second book in the series, second book I've read in Spanish and I want more! The events of book two take place between 10 and 15 years after the conclSecond book in the series, second book I've read in Spanish and I want more! The events of book two take place between 10 and 15 years after the conclusion of book one.
Dana is the Mistress of the Tower. She is in charge of four students. Salamandra is the newest addition to the Tower. She is a young and impulsive creature who has a thing for mysterious elf-wolf Fenris ever since he saved her from the stake... though she probably could have done that herself. Let's just say that her name Salamandra is a name she's chosen for herself and not the one her parents gave her.
Following Maritta's death, Kai briefly visits Dana to warn her of the soon to come revenge of her old Master. Dana is split between finding a way to keep Kai by her sides and her duty as Mistress of the Tower to protect her students and her school.
But an elven powerful witch who has been entrusted the security and education of spoiled though talented elven princess, Nawin, visits the Tower. This only mean one thing for Dana: further complications.
I enjoyed this book more than I did the first one in the series. Gallego Garcia abandons Dana's sometimes flat character to explore the new members of the school, especially Salamandra who is nothing like her Mistress. This character brings a bit more spice to the overall series.
Additionally, certain revelations are made: we learn a bit more about Fenris's past.
If you've enjoyed the first one, this second one will also fulfill your expectations. A fantastic, light and fast paced read. Recommended to younger readers. ...less ...more
A very rich and highly original narrative both in terms of world-building and themes. This is middle grade fiction at its best. I was especially amazzA very rich and highly original narrative both in terms of world-building and themes. This is middle grade fiction at its best. I was especially amazzed at how the author mixed technology with nature. So imaginative! if you were as impressed as I were with this world, I recommend Nnedi Okorafor's short story published in Clarkesworld magazine: "From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7". The short story is not YA but it give you another perspective on this wonderfully enchanting world the author's created.
I'll definitely be reading more of this author and not only because of work this time!...more
This was a nice traditional science-fantasy middle grade novel - young orphaned boy who can't seem to fit in, discovers he's got superpowers and getsThis was a nice traditional science-fantasy middle grade novel - young orphaned boy who can't seem to fit in, discovers he's got superpowers and gets swept away into a fantastical world in which some of his favorite comic characters turn out to be real - with a nice twist in the end that's definitely got me wanting to read its sequel.
Despite the traditional tropes common in most fantasy, coming of age novels, I think this book would make a wonderful read for younger readers not quite as jaded as older fantasy readers.
I thought Matt Myklusch may have spent a little too long on world-building - though I'll admit the Imagine Nation is an awesome world in which it's difficult to get bored, - I would have appreciated for the action scenes to be a bit less concentrated at the beginning and the end of the novel and more evenly spread out throughout the book. But hey, it's a debut novel and what's more, it's the first title in a series, so description and set up are essential... and at least we didn't get 100 or so pages on Hobbit life and genealogy, so I suppose it could be worse!
Overall, part fantasy with its superheroes, part science fiction with its alien robots, this is a very enjoyable read I would recommend to younger readers. Waiting for the sequel......more
Like most fantasy titles nowadays, this novel is the first in a trilogy. However, this trilogy is not the first in the overall series dealing with theLike most fantasy titles nowadays, this novel is the first in a trilogy. However, this trilogy is not the first in the overall series dealing with the Grey Griffins. I mention this because, IMHO, this novel does not stand well on its own. As you may have guessed, I have not read the first trilogy (composed of The Revenge of the Shadow King, The Rise of the Black Wolf and The Fall of the Templar) and I found The Brimstone Key somewhat lacking in several fundamental aspects. Most of all, I felt that it lacked substance.
I never got emotionally attached to any of the characters, most of the cool technological and fantastical elements turned out to never be fully explained, plot elements and characters introduced once, never to be used again. It left me frustrated. I may seem harsh, but I'm fairly certain that, had I read the first trilogy, already "known" the characters, been given more background on the overall universe, I would have been better prepared for this read. I'm well aware that, being the first in a trilogy, it's quite normal for there to be unresolved plot points and cliffhangers, but throughout my reading of this novel, I could never quite shake the feeling that I was missing something, that I didn't have all the elements in hand.
In the end, I can't quite recommend this title. If, like me, you haven't read the first Grey Griffin trilogy, I would tell you not to start here. But, having not read the first trilogy, I can't recommend it, can I? But I still think it's the best way to go. You can tell it's a rich and complex universe the authors have brought to life, it's simply that their explanation and exploration of it remain too superficial in this novel for the reader to come out satisfied....more
This novel is a wonderful, querky, witty and refreshing novel ! It's all the more brilliant that it deals with the serious themes that are abandonmentThis novel is a wonderful, querky, witty and refreshing novel ! It's all the more brilliant that it deals with the serious themes that are abandonment, perception of one's self and others and one's acceptance of another's difference and flaws, no matter how great those may be.
But then, I've always been one to agree with the idea that the best tragedies are always comical and the best comedies are the ones with a strong tragic angle to them. Ellen Potter takes us exactly in this grey zone and she does so using one the Hardscrabble's voice (you're not supposed to know which one of the siblings is telling the story, but really, it's not hard to guess and the narration is all the more touching for it).
This is my first introduction to Ellen Potter's prose and it's definitely got me wanting to read more. Recommendations anyone?
This is a highly recommended read for all those looking for a "fake" light read, no matter how old you are, because, let's face it, we all have a bit of the Kneebone Boy in us. ...more