Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Book Review | Two Renegade Realms

Two Renegade Realms
The Realm Walkers #2
Donita K. Paul

Publisher: Zondervan
Genre:  Christian, YA, Fiction, Fantasy
Released:  2015

{back cover}
Three years have passed since the attack by the corrupt Realm Walkers Guild--years Cantor, Bixby, and Dukmee have spent searching for secrets that could save their realm from a deadly invasion.  Just when they seem close to success, however, a new surprise knocks them off track: the famed Chomountain may indeed be alive.  And it appears their group has been chosen to rescue him from his years of imprisonment.

But when they arrive in the valley where Chomountain supposedly has been kept, they are met by a man whose only passion is fishing.  Desperate, and running out of time before the invasion begins, the three friends, along with Cantor's dragon constant, Bridger, must find a way to escape the growing perils in the valley while also uncovering the answers they urgently need.

--------------------------------------------
WARNING: Possible Spoilers

*I was provided a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.*

{The Basics}
Well, to begin. . .  I LOVE Donita K. Paul's books.  So, of course, upon hearing when the second book to this series would be released, I waited patiently.  Anxiously.  Excitedly anxious, yet patient.  :]  Why?  Because of her fascinating stories, each so intricately woven, are laced with stitches of pure adventure! And the characters.  Each have their own personality, voice, quirks, weaknesses, etc.  They are so fun and. . . purely themselves.

So, on to the actual tale.  In this second book of the series, we return to the characters three years after the conclusion of the first novel.  Three years is a good while to go on your way and return; so, naturally, some of the characters have grown and changed--physically, in one case especially--while others have remained their awesome, lovable selves.

Cantor, alone, is the one who changed the most.  In the sense that he grew.  Yeah.  First book: Cantor is five foot six.  Second: six foot nine inches!!  Whoa!

Bixby, love her heart, is still the same adorable little darling.  Bridger is Bridger.  :]  And his sister Totobee-Rodolow remains her fashionable, lovely self.  Other characters are introduced, but I'll leave them for you to discover.

The gist of the plot: Word of a coming invasion from two renegade planes reaches our crew of heroes, and they hurry to prepare for the impending assault.  This includes gathering two stones and a globe, which essentially act as a key to the realm of the Universe.  Here, they learn how to defeat said invaders.  But first on their agenda is to rescue the famed Chomountain, the right hand of Primen--essentially a Prophet.  During all of this, they must deal with the corrupt members of the Realm Walkers Guild, who seek to take over rule of the realms, outlaw the true realm walkers loyal to Primen, and replace them with their phonies.

{Positives}
Each member of Cantor's team truly care for the others.  It is obvious they would risk their lives for their friends.

From the beginning, we learn that two years prior Cantor left Bixby's company to search for his missing mentors, Ahma and Odem.  Two years later, he has yet to find them.  And while anxious for the them, he puts his trust in Primen to keep them safe and focuses on the tasks at hand.

Cantor comes to finally accept Bridger as his constant, though he still doesn't like to admit it. :]

{Negatives}
The relationship between Bridger and Cantor doesn't seem to have changed much.  In the previous novel, Cantor traveled to Effram in search of a dragon constant and the result was Bridger claiming him whether or not Cantor liked it.  They've stuck together for two years, but Cantor still seems pretty harsh to his dragon friend.

Cantor is attracted to Bixby, but in line of his duty as a realm walker, thinks such a relationship a danger and as a result avoids her and/or blocks her from his mind.  At one point he plays an impulsive prank on her and she flounces away in anger.

{Spiritual Content}
I love how Mrs. Paul ties our faith in her novels.

Primen is the name of God in the Realm Walker's world.  Chomountain is a type of Prophet, known as the right hand of Primen.  He wields great power in the name of the Maker.  Through Chomountain, we learn the will of Primen.  The characters send prayers to Primen and trust that He will guide their steps.

"Claiming righteousness tied an ordinary man directly to Primen, and in that association, the man could call upon the power of Primen.  It was an old-fashioned term, but still held in awe by some."
(p. 343)

Realm walkers/healers/wizards, etc., each have their own talents and during battle, they can be harnessed as a force of energy.  I suppose you could call some of it magic. :]

{Violence}
War is imminent.  While in the Observatory of the Universe, the Realm of Eternity, Cantor and his team study the coming invasion by watching the scenes unfold as if in the future.  Hence, they see the horrible aliens, the Lymen, arrive to invade and pillage the planes, destroying and killing anything and everything in sight.  People and animals are slain on sight, and/or eaten.  To the Lymen, babes are a delicacy and are swallowed whole.  Animals are beheaded and stored away for future use.

The Lymen themselves resemble green plant-men, with arms like leaves, and yet are used as blades and deadly sharp.  The seed pods they use to travel shoot little palm-sized disks that embed in flesh.  Defenders are struck down by the disks and Lymen arm-blades.

It is war, but Mrs. Paul does not go into bloody detail.  Men and dragons alike are wounded and fall.  One has a hand cut off.  A dragon loses a wing, but we are told it will grow back.  A tent full of men explodes, killing nearly one hundred people.

{Language, Alcohol & Drugs}
No language.  Medicinal drugs, herbs and potions are used for healing.  And sleeping potions are useful in dispatching a group of guards.

{Love-y Content}
Cantor develops an attraction to Bixby, and Bixby likes him as well.  They hold hands a time or two, if I recall correctly.

During an intermission in the battle, Dukmee leaves to preform some other task but not before kissing Bixby on the cheek.  Kind of random and way out of character for him, but sweet.

Just before leaving to go about his own duties, Cantor turns abruptly, scoops Bixby into his arms, hugs her and kisses her cheeks and unruly hair.  Again, so sweet!  No lip-locking, I promise.  :]

{Conclusion}
I think it's pretty obvious: I LOVE these books!  Such great stories filled with adventure, hilarity, good fellowship, food, and faith.  I would definitely recommend to my friends!

--------------------------------------------
Recommended ages:  13+

 photo sarahsignature_zps5172c7cd.png

1 comment:

Christine Smith said...

Oh my goodness, I literally bought this book two days ago! I declare our brains are in sync. I am sooo looking forward to reading it. And your lovely review has me even more excited about it! I've missed these characters. Paul makes the absolute BEST ones.