Today’s team review is from Jessie, she blogs here http://behindthewillows.com
Jessie has been reading The Jack Of Ruin by Stephen C. Merlino
The Jack of Ruin is the much anticipated…
(You know, when people say that I always get belligerent wondering just who these “people” are that were waiting with bated breath. So, I’ll tell you. It was me. And John, and likely other people, but I don’t know them. So, yeah, I’m making that grand statement on the authority of my own feelings!)
…sequel to The Jack of Souls. If you took my advice three years ago and read The Jack of Souls with it’s goodish guy and it’s new worlds and magics, culture clashes and ideals, angry immortals and horses and general epic fantasyishness, I’m excited to tell you that this installment did not disappoint. The epicness continues, the good guys have a tendency to be a little grey rather than white and it seems vows were made to be broken…
And if you didn’t?
What are you waiting for, get reading!
Would I recommend it? If you are a lover of epic fantasy read The Jack of Souls, then have this one ready because it picks up right where the previous leaves off!
Harric’s immortal enemy, Sir Bannus, lies defeated in the valley, his army buried under tons of mountain rubble—a rock fall that Harric brought down with the magic of the Unseen Moon. For now, the quest to deliver the Queen’s peace treaty to the mysterious Kwendi is safe.
But Sir Bannus rises from defeat with Harric’s name on his lips, vengeance in his fist, and a vow to capture the treaty-bearers and spark war to bring ruin upon the Queen. To Harric, death would be preferable, for if she falls, Sir Bannus or another of the Old Ones will reclaim the throne and cast women and bastards like Harric back into slavery.
Yet Harric’s companions condemn his use of trickery and magic to fight Sir Bannus—tools that saved them once before, and which he believes are as vital as swords for the Queen’s protection.
When treachery, discord, and death doom the quest, Harric must choose between the love and regard of his friends and his self-chosen destiny as Her Majesty’s Unseen protector.
It is a choice that will forever bind him to one…and bring ruin to the other.
Stephen Merlino lives in Seattle, WA, where he writes, plays and teaches English to teens. He lives with the world’s most desirable woman and two fabulous children, one cat, and three attack chickens.
Growing up in Seattle in constant rain drove Stephen indoors as a child, so he ended up reading a lot. When at the age of eleven he discovered J.R.R. Tolkein, Terry Brooks, and other fantasy writers, he dreamed of writing his own epic tales.
About the time a fifth reading of the Lord of the Rings no longer delivered the old magic, he attended the University of Washington and fell in love with Chaucer and Shakespeare and all things English. Sadly, the closest he got to England then was The Unicorn Pub on University Way, & that was run by a Scot named Angus. Nevertheless, he sampled Angus’s weird ales, and devoured Angus’s steak & kidney pie (with real offal!).
Stephen later backpacked Britain, where he discovered a magnificent retrospective of Henry VIII’s body development–from childhood to old age–captured in a dozen suits of armor. Each suit was a 3D snapshot in steel of his exact body shape in a specific moment in time. Stephen observed His Majesty was glorious when young, but as an old man the king corpulent and developed what was either elephantiasis or an unhealthy infatuation with his codpiece.
Stratford-upon-Avon inspired Stephen to return the following year to study Shakespeare at the U of Reading. He now teaches Shakespeare, and, by following The Bard’s example of plot thievery, built one of the subplots of A Midsummer Night’s Dream into The Jack of Souls. It’s one of his favorite parts of the story.