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The mysterious distant leader called the father finally steps out of the shadows to threaten every kingdom with his deadly new weapon. Can his true plans be discovered before the destruction begins?
With only destiny-altering choices, both kings must find the allies that will bring down their true enemies. They stand oceans apart, but the world is shrinking, casting two great shadows that could darken their world forever.
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By Lidia Chymkowska on 06-22-18
Yes, teenage boys can be good kings...:)
The second book in the series brings us solutions to all the intrigues, plots and mysteries of book one. And it leaves us with satisfaction that the good guys receive their rewards and the bad guys get what they deserve (however unlikely it often is in real life - when it comes to politics, at least...)
Gordon and Asa, the two boy kings, discover and learn even more about the world of power; they form new alliances, they find and lose friends, they prove to themselves that they are stronger than they thought they were... And they finally make mature decisions and get justice - for everyone.
The pace of the book is even faster than in part one; we jump from one corner of the world to the other as the chapters cover events going on simultaneously in several different places. We also see growth in Gordon's and Asa's political awareness as they witness and are part of deceptions, traps and false alliances...
One of the strenghts of the book, I think, is the way it discusses and tries to explain to young people what democracy and dictatorship are and how they differ - the scenes in which Gordon is shown around and fed all the propaganda the Father wants him to swallow and the way Gordon seems to be almost mesmerised by what he is told are great, but also really scary (at least for adults who know history quite well). I felt great relief when he expressed his doubts, still not fully convinced to the ideas the Father wanted him to believe were irrefutable. Listening to what the Father was saying felt like listening to Lenin or Stalin or any one of the communist leaders of the USSR right after the Revolution talking about how prosperous and caring their country was... And a shiver went down my spine when I realized there were still peopple and countries that followed in those steps... This particular plot line shows to young people how easily even the greatest ideas can be contorted when they are realized by corrupted men who only want power... That's a great lesson, I think, that says "Trust your leaders but never hesitate to check what they're doing with that trust..."
The only weakness I can think of is that with so many characters and so many things happening in the book there is not much room for deep character development. Yes, we see that Asa and Gordon grow a little in their awareness of the responsibilities of a ruler, but most of the other characters generally stay the same throughout the whole story. Still, as that doesn't really stop you from relating to them emotionally, I can forgive it this time and give the story 4.5 stars:)
As with book one, the interpretation by Mr Mayer is wonderful. The pace is adequate, the voices match the personalities of individual characters and emotions are clear and convincingly conveyed.
DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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