I'll admit this is a book I've been looking forward to read. I've gotten to know Andrea Pearson some over the last little while as she reviewed the first edition of The Hidden Sun and then later, she was at the August Authorama where I launched the second edition of my first novel. She's a very nice person who always seems to have a smile on her face.
The Key of Kilenya is a fantasy book that centers around 14 year-old Jacob Clark. The challenge in writing any fantasy book is setting up the rules for which the characters act. In other words, what can they or can't they do in the realm of the story. Often authors explain the differences through the eyes of someone we can related with, like with the Harry Potter books. As Harry discovers about magic, so do we as the readers. Now, I'm not saying that this book is a clone of Harry Potter--far from it. It is certainly has its own feel and distinct setting.
Because we are told the story through a 14 year-old boy's eyes, it may seem at first that he was accepting the changes around him a bit too easily. That was my first impression until I remembered what it was like to be that age. I wasn't as jaded or skeptical as I am now. Once I realized that, Jacob's reactions seemed much more rational.
So, what is this story about? Well, here is the blurb from the back of the book which sums it up quite nicely:
"When two vicious wolves chase fourteen-year-old Jacob Clark down a path from our world into another, his life is forever changed. He has no idea they have been sent by the Lorkon—evil, immortal beings who are jealous of powers he doesn’t know he possesses—powers they desire to control.
The inhabitants of the new world desperately need Jacob's help in recovering a magical key that was stolen by the Lorkon and is somehow linked to him. If he helps them, his life will be at risk. But if he chooses not to help them, both our world and theirs will be in danger. The Lorkon will stop at nothing to unleash the power of the key—and Jacob's special abilities."
The book borders on the edge of being a fun fantasy and being downright spooky. There are a lot of fun moments, especially with the Minyas. And then there are times when I found myself engrossed in the scarier scenes. Even then, it's not too graphic as to be inappropriate for teenagers.
I enjoyed the device of starting most chapters as entries from someone's journal. (I won't say who--I don't want to spoil things) It was like there were two parallel stories running that join up toward the end. There is a different tone between the two stories which showed me that Pearson's narrative of Jacob was designed and executed well.
I had a chat with her a little before I got the book and she kept gushing about the follow up to The Key of Kilenya. I'm most certainly happy there is one written. The book left me wanting more and though it didn't really end in a cliff hanger, it did leave several questions unanswered.
As for who would like this book? I'd say teenagers and up who enjoy fantasy books. There are some scary moments, but there isn't any swearing or adult situations.
Overall, I would most certainly say this book is worth a read, or two, or three. . .
You can visit her website here.
You can order the book here.
***Disclaimer*** While I did receive a free copy of this book to review, it in no way influenced my honest opinion of the book.