{ARC} Book Review: The Rogue Knight by Brandon Mull

January 3, 2016 Review 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{ARC} Book Review: The Rogue Knight by Brandon MullThe Rogue Knight by Brandon Mull
Series: Five Kingdoms #2
Published by Aladdin on 2014 November 18
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 480
Format: E-book {ARC}
Source: Edelweiss
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Cole Randolph, searching for friends kidnapped on Halloween, is trapped in the kingdom of Elloweer, a world between wakefulness and dreaming. With new friends Mira, Twitch, and Jace, Cole joins the resistance to find Mira’s sister Honor.

A mysterious foe massacres towns, leaving no survivors. And a rebel "Rogue Knight” upsets the balance of power. Pursued by enemies, Cole and Mira use a new kind of magic for protection and to outwit the High King, ruthlessly seeking to regain what he has lost.

I am not sure if I am outgrowing Middle Grade books or Brandon Mull is losing his touch.  I can still remember how the Fablehaven series (my first Brandon Mull series) hooked me to the point that I sacrificed many a good night’s sleep just to finish the five books as soon as possible. And after that, find myself rereading the whole series after two months.  That didn’t happen to me with the Five Kingdoms series.  Sky Raiders, the first book of Five Kingdoms, was just OKAY. Not good, not bad either.  There were interesting stuff—like the shaping abilities and the different kingdoms— that held my interest but for the most part of the story, I was just bored despite the twists (that were not really twists because I saw them coming a mile away).  It took me a long time to pick up Rogue Knight because I was hoping that by the time I read it, I am already in the mood.  Alas, reading Rogue Knight became more of an obligation instead of being in an another adventure with Cole, Mira, Jace and the rest of the gang.

The second book of the series, Rogue Knight started where we left off from Sky Raiders. Cole and the rest of the gang are desperate to go to Elloweer, one of the Five Kingdoms, after discovering clues that something went wrong with one of Mira’s sister, Honor. As usual, there were a lot of travelling incognito and fighting monsters to save the not-so-a-damsel-in-distress Honor.  Along the way, I got to know more about the shaping ability and about the existence of the different kingdoms, their culture, and how they differ from one another.  While the said things are interesting, I cannot say the same thing for our ragtag team of selfless heroes(?).  No matter how hard I’ve tried, I didn’t manage to develop a semblance of affection for any of them. Their chemistry is off. The bromance between the boys (Cole, Jace, and Twitch) made me cringe. The friendship didn’t make my heart flutter at all. It just felt forced.  I also didn’t buy whatever romance (if it’s going to end up in a romantic relationship at all) is developing between Jace and Mira.  I, however, admired that instead of pairing the male protag with the main heroine, Brandon chose to pair the latter with the sidekick.

I think my biggest issue with Rogue Knight is the fact that I wasn’t able to connect with the characters despite my assumption after reading book one. The characters were my biggest issue with the first book and I thought that they’ll grow on me while reading the Rogue Knight.  Unfortunately, that was not the case and I’m left feeling very disappointed.  However, I’d still recommend this book for the completionists and those readers who are not so particular about character relationships.

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