'The Dying Kingdom' young adult fantasy with plenty of teen angst
“The Dying Kingdom” is the second book in “The New Adventures” Series based on the world of Dragonlance. Stephen D. Sullivan does a good job of creating a nice story about a group of teenage adventurers trying to get one of their friend’s memories back.
The five adventurers are a kender who thinks he is a wizard, a thief, a ranger, a knight-in-training and the girl who has amnesia. All of them are young for adventurers, which allows their enemies to underestimate them.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of teen angst in this book. Davyn the Ranger is concerned that the others will find out who is father is, and he will become a pariah. Nearra is so sickly that everyone voices their concern for her well-being. Of course, she says that nothing is wrong and promptly collapses in a fever. The thief is always trying to steal things because that is what he does, and the kender is far too happy and oblivious to be of any real value to anyone.
For better or worse, “The Dying Kingdom” is really about the Knight-in-Training Catriona. A six foot tall redhead, Catriona is wilting under the guilt that she feels at her aunt’s death. She ran from the scene, and it has haunted her at every step. She questions her own bravery in spite of numerous acts that have proven otherwise. Things change when she meets Alric, Prince of Arngrim. This book is about her growth from whiny teen to a warrior who knows her own value.
“The Dying Kingdom” is a quick read with enough entertainment value that the reader can overlook the “Twilight” tendencies of the story.
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