Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Nightborn (Thrones & Bones #2)

 Two weeks until Nightborn releases on July 14th! That's enough time to check out the first book, Frostborn, before picking up the sequel. Check out my review of the book below.

About the book:
From the author of "Frostborn" comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull. 

Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. "Not" a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves. 

Meet Desstra. She's in training to join the Underhand--the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be. 

Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly? 

The novel includes instructions for playing the board game Charioteers. Visit ThronesandBones.com for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more!

Find it on:   Goodreads  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

After reading Frostborn, the first Thrones and Bones book, I knew that I had to read Nightborn, the second book in the series. Lou Anders' world intrigued me, and I wanted to see where he would take readers next. Luckily for me, the publisher sent me a copy to review. (Click here to see my thoughts about Frostborn)

Readers can enjoy the second book in the series without reading the first book, but I wouldn't recommend it. Lou Anders sets the foundation of Karn and Thianna's friendship in the first book, and it is the main reason Karn is so adamant about saving his friend, especially since Thianna is very different from Karn.

Nightborn takes readers further away from Karn's home. We discover more of Anders' world, and see different cultures incorporated into the storyline. Readers also learn more of the world's history. There is even a timeline in the back of the book that breaks down the history.

The story opens up with new characters, and an interesting twist to the capture the flag game. Readers learn that this is the "final exam" for the characters, and Dessetra is not going to lose! When graduation comes, she is forced to go on a special mission before truly graduating and joining the Underhand. Karn, on the other hand, is adjusting to his new normal. He's now a local celebrity after the events that happened in Frostborn, and he is stepping up to be hauld of the farm. Too bad he is taken and forced on a mission to retrieve a special item and find his friend Thianna.

Just like in the first book, Karn and Thianna have "bad guys" that they have to defend themselves from. Anders again incorporates mythical characters, this time elves, as key characters in the story. But this time, the dark elves are going after the same horn that Karn and Thianna are.
Desstra was my favorite character in the story. She is cunning, and the way she thinks is similar to Karn's way of thinking. Unlike her counterpart, Tanthal who uses the people around him and isn't afraid to hurt or kill them, Desstra shows compassion and mercy. Desstra isn't perfect though. She befriends and then betrays Karn. But when Tanthal tells her that she has to kill him, she finally does what is right, even if it means giving up on her lifelong dream. I look forward to reading about her in the third book and seeing how Anders continues to shape her character.

The story is wrapped up completely by the end of the book, just like in the first book. It ends with the characters setting out to explore more of the world. Thianna hasn't found out the history of her mother, after all. Now she has a worthy travel companion. I am interested to see how important Karn's role will be in the third installment.

Anders created another board game, Charioteers, for Nightborn. Just as he did in Frostborn, instructions, pictures, and rules are included in the back of the book. Readers can create their own board and play just as the characters do.

All in all, Nightborn is an adventurous story that is fun to read. It is perfect for middle graders, teens, and even adults. There is action and mystery.  It shows how true friendship is meant to be.

About author Lou Anders:
Lou Anders's research on Norse mythology while writing Frostborn turned into a love affair with Viking culture and a first visit to Norway. He hopes the series will appeal to boys and girls equally.

Anders is the recipient of a Hugo Award for editing and a Chesley Award for art direction. He has published over 500 articles and stories on science fiction and fantasy television and literature.

Frostborn, which Publishers Weekly described as “thoroughly enjoyable” (starred review), is his first middle grade novel. A prolific speaker, Anders regularly attends writing conventions around the country. He and his family reside in Birmingham, Alabama. 

You can visit Anders online at louanders.com and ThronesandBones.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter at @ThronesandBones