TITLE: Children of the Keeper
SERIES: The Cursed Ground, book 2
AUTHOR: A. Roy King
FORMAT: Author provided Epub ARC, read via Google Play Books
PAGES/LOCATIONS: 112 pages
GOODREADS’ AVG. RATING: 5 out of 5 stars; 1 rating
An impetuous young woman named Temper serves as Captain on the rough-and-tumble squad that patrols the city ruled by her father, the Keeper of Wit. The city’s protectors must struggle ever-harder to keep order, as violence and unrest grow. On top of everything, the city is thrown into tumult when unexpected visitors arrive from far away.
“Children of the Keeper” is Book 2 of “The Cursed Ground,” an historical adventure series set in the ancient world. Set in a long-gone era when humans lived for hundreds of years and all spoke the same language, “The Cursed Ground” saga tells the story of a group of defenders who struggle to protect their communities from the growing violence in the world around them. Meanwhile, a small brotherhood is charged with carrying an unpopular message to humankind: The Creator has declared that this violent world will come to an end.
DATES READ: April 30-May 9, 2015
DISCLAIMER: I WAS PROVIDED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM THE AUTHOR, A. ROY KING, IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DID NOT IN ANY WAY IMPACT OR INFLUENCE MY OPINION OF MR. KING’S NOVEL.
I am going to begin my review by first apologizing to the lateness of it. I fell short of my commitment and for that I am most sorry to not just my followers, but to Mr. A. Roy King as well. When I originally agreed to work on this ARC review, I wasn’t yet aware that my daughter’s talent show was going to occur within the same week. I wound up spending a majority of my free time helping her prepare for it (and while I admit that I would do the same again), it was unprofessional of me to let my other commitments slide. For that, I offer my most sincere apologies. Now let’s get down to the actual purpose of this post, let’s talk about this book!
Children of the Keeper caught me off guard in a positive way in the character Temper – I liked her, she felt fleshed out and I found her wit to be refreshing. Temper is curious, she asks questions and is determined to find the answers that she is looking for. She refuses to just accept what she is told without valid evidence or reasoning behind it, which gets her into trouble almost as often as it helps her. As her great-grandfather, a former Keeper of Wit and its founder, stated, “…you have a quick mind. And a suspicious one. Among the Borne, that is a good thing.” There is a great deal of history regarding the Borne as a people which led to their separation – a large faction of them moving to the south from Union and creating Wit, her great-grandfather having disagreed greatly with the politics in place and wanting a better future for his own family. Learning about the history of Temper, her family, and its part in the creation of Wit was incredibly interesting and the development of the story became just that much more personal for Temper. I appreciated all of the back-story because it gave so much more substance to the events of present day Wit.
My greatest issue with Children of the Keeper was a large feeling of disconnect between it and The Child-Stealers, book 1 in the series. While there were specific elements present in both books, Children of the Keeper felt less like a sequel than I am used to because it starts out with an entirely new set of characters except for Flourish, Bloom, and their fellow travelers, who aren’t introduced to this book’s plot until a couple chapters in. So while there is that tangible connection between the two stories, it doesn’t feel like an overly strong connection because the events of these two novels are presented as two completely separate events with overlap only occurring between Wit’s battle against the tendril and the impact of what the Put (Flourish/Bloom/etc) have deemed the foment. Based on my reading of Children of the Keeper and its events, I am sensing a lot deeper connection between these two novels than what is overtly presented, but at this point it is only a hypothesis until it is either confirmed or denied in later installments in the series. We will see just how right or wrong I am once additional books are released.
My overall opinion of the book, I liked it – I didn’t love it, nor did I hate it, but I liked it. I felt that there was more attention to detail paid by the author in this installment and that the storytelling benefited from it greatly. I never found myself outright questioning the actions of the characters in play, other than Citizen Beacon who is somewhat shrouded in mystery and I believe is being set up as an antagonist for future installments. It was easy to follow the progression of the story and did an excellent job of setting up the next installment.
TL;DR REVIEW: 4.00 out of 5 stars. Overall, I think this was a strong sequel even with its seeming disconnect from the first novella strictly due to the extra attention to detail that was paid by the author specifically in regard to the history of the Borne of Wit. While their history wasn’t anything overly extensive or elaborate, it was enough of an insight into understanding why there is such a separation between Union and Wit and does an excellent job in setting up conflict as well for possible future installments. I appreciated Temper’s character and felt she was a realistic protagonist – a believable protagonist, even if she could be a little too headstrong at times. I would like to thank Mr. A. Roy King for giving me the opportunity to read and review his work and wish him well in his future installments!