The Berinfell Prophecies is a series about seven 13-year olds from various parts of Earth who find each other in a mysterious way and are gathered together to grasp their destiny. They’re really elves who were brought here as infants to protect them from the Spider King when he ransacked the elven kingdom, Allyra. Now that they’re teens their powers are revealed and the Spider King has rediscovered their whereabouts. To quash them will eliminate the hope of the elf remnant in Allyra, but those who’ve been watching over the growing children are determined to see their charges safely home.
This wasn’t my favorite book of the year, I’m sorry to say. Of course, I’m not 13 either. But with seven main characters plus the flashbacks to Allyra plus some scenes in the Spider King’s minions’ point-of-view (plus at least one non-elf kid), I found the story too fractured to hold my attention. There’s just way too many pages between sections of each teen in my opinion.
Still, Batson’s previous books are extremely popular with young readers and I’m sure many of them will devour The Berinfell Prophecies just as avidly. (Hopper’s previous books are aimed at adults.)
I’m also not wild about novels that begin with a prologue, even if it is camouflaged as chapter one (entitled Eight-Hundred-Year Echoes):
Concealed in a grove of alder trees, two cloaked figures waited; their whispered voices lost in the soft rustle of wind-stirred leaves.
“Commander, I had forgotten how brilliant the moon is.”
“I know, Brynn,” the burly warrior replied, absently rubbing a whitish furrow on his cheek, one of many scars on his face and neck. “Since we are allowed only rare views…I, too, drink it in.” He sighed.
“How many hundreds of years since we could gaze our fill?”
“Too many,” he said, more than a hint of bitterness in his tone.
They waited, not ten paces away from the flat side of a massive boulder. Beyond that, the silver moonlight shone down on a clearing framed by trees. It was a haunting view of their once glorious city, now in ruins.
Suddenly, the sheer face of stone radiated a dazzling blue light. The two crouched lower beneath the trees. Brynn raised her bow and drew the bowstring back to the feathery red sideburn hear her right ear.
“Hold,” whispered the leader. “If it is the enemy, we are done.”
In contrast, chapter two starts out with one of the seven kids and is a much stronger opening.
If you’re interested to hear other bloggers’ take on this novel, check out some of the following links. I’m guessing many of these folks liked the novel much better than I did.
Brandon Barr, Justin Boyer, Amy Browning, Amy Cruson, CSFF Blog Tour, Stacey Dale, D. G. D. Davidson, Shane Deal, Jeff Draper, Emmalyn Edwards,
April Erwin, Karina Fabian, Todd Michael Greene, Ryan Heart, Timothy Hicks, Becky Jesse, Cris Jesse, Jason Joyner, Julie, Carol Keen, Krystine Kercher, Tina Kulesa, Melissa Lockcuff, Rebecca LuElla Miller, Mirtika, Nissa, John W. Otte, Cara Powers , Chawna Schroeder, James Somers, Speculative Faith, Robert Treskillard, Fred Warren, Jason Waguespac, Phyllis Wheeler, Jill Williamson, KM Wilsher