Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 432 pages
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Five Kingdoms series
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. I loved Mull’s Fablehaven series but wasn’t a huge fan of his Beyonders series. I really really enjoyed this first book in his new Five Kingdoms series. This is the first book out of five planned books for this series. The 2nd book in the series will be titled The Rogue Knight and is scheduled for an October 2014 release.
Cole ends up at a creepy Halloween party with some friends. Then things get really strange, Cole and his friends are transported to another world called The Outskirts. The Outskirts are a place between everything and are made up of Five Kingdoms. Cole ends up as a slave for the Sky Raiders. The Sky Raiders loot incredible floating castles that randomly appear in the sky. While there he meets a strange girl named Mira. Mira needs Cole’s help and hopefully in return she can help him save his friends from slavery.
The beginning is very creepy, but after that we are introduced to a wonderfully creative world that is full of magic and people who are Shapers…they can shape things to their will. This means the things you run into throughout the book are incredibly unexpected, creative, and intriguing.
From floating castles full of random magical things, to crazy worlds of gigantic food and scary plastic dinosaurs…there are just a ton of neat ideas and crazy things in this world.
The book features both a girl and a boy as the primary characters, so I think readers of either gender will be able to relate to the story well. I enjoyed the characters too. Cole is somewhat clueless at the beginning of the story, but he is also brave and loyal. He is easy to engage with and a good role model. Mira is the main heroine and she is a fascinating character as well. I really enjoyed reading about them both. We meet some other side characters along the way and all of them are well done and entertaining.
There is a lot of action and adventure and the story was very engaging and hard to put down. Reading about Cole scavenging treasure from all of these crazy floating castles was a lot of fun. The world is incredibly detailed and there is so much more to learn about it in future books. I really really loved it.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, it features a wonderfully creative world with engaging and likable characters. There is a lot of action, adventure, and magic. I liked this book much better than his Beyonders series. Whether or not I like it was much as his Fablehaven series (which is one of my absolute favorite middle grade fantasy series) remains to be seen. I highly recommend this book to fans of middle grade fantasy, it was a fantastic read. I can’t wait to read The Rogue Knight when it releases in October.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge