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It has been fifteen years since Billy and Bonnie Bannister helped repel the demonic assault on Heaven. Now they and Ashley Foley sit in a maximum security prison where the authorities conduct experiments on them to learn the secrets of long life. Earlier, the world’s acceptance of dragonkind crumbled, and the Enforcers took the infant twins born to Billy and Bonnie and stole Excalibur, hoping to develop a weapon to battle the dragons that are sure to try to rescue their allies. All the while, a great secret from the past is being revealed to Bonnie through a dream. Joran and Selah, teenaged children of Methuselah, have been trapped in a strange world for centuries, yet still able to manipulate certain events in our world during that time.
Walter Foley finds the Bannisters’ son and hopes to use his dragon traits to help him rescue the prisoners. In the meantime, an ancient demon locates the Bannisters’ daughter and plans to use her to help him discover the hiding place of the most powerful ovulum in the world and squelch its protective song. With that ovulum in his possession, he will be able to conquer and control both Earth and Second Eden.
The fate of two worlds now rests on the Bannisters’ two teenagers who must use their dragon traits and their innate courage to battle demons, a sorceress, and soldiers in a military compound in order to rescue parents they don’t even know.
Series: Children of the Bard (Book 1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Living Ink Books (June 28, 2011)
Page Count: 512 pages
About six or so years ago I read the Dragons in Our Midst series and the Oracles of Fire series. These books have stuck with me ever since and have been a huge influence in my spiritual life and my writing. Now finally I've gotten to reading the last books of this epic saga.
What I liked: This book got my feels so ripped up I had to call a friend and vent about it. I expected the Bannister family to be living happily but noooooooooooo they've been separated and in misery for years! GAH! It switches from the happenings of Bonnie and company and these two children from before the flood named Joran and Selah. Both of the storylines tie in nicely, but I was confused at first as to how they were relevant to each other.
|Nope-ity Nope. No. Happiness!|
I felt so. Darn. Bad. For Ashley, Bonnie, Billy, and Walter. To be separated from loved ones that long would be such torture. I despise Tamiel, Semiramis, the "healers", Catherine, and the rest for doing this to them. My cheeks are flushing just writing this review. They are a bunch of crazy dragon-haters basically and they need to go the special hell.
|Shepherd Book says it right.|
In Matt and Lauren's end of the plot, this long book actually takes place in only about twenty four hours time as they work on breaking out people so lots of escapes then captures then escapes then captures in a freezing cold prison. On the Joran and Selah end, the book spans millennia as they journey through the ovulums of different virtues, searching for keys to escape their prison. I personally cared more about Matt and Lauren's end, because THEY NEED TO BE HAPPY, OKAY?!
This book gave me a ton of nostalgia blasts as old characters from the books came in and hinted at the previous stories. Many parts had me very intense and gave me some big scares, so it definitely kept my attention. I found myself going, "No! Darn! Stop! Gah! Why?" a lot during intense scenes. The characters just are so abused, and there is much epicness during various battle scenes.
Mr. Davis really got creative with weapons this go around with candlestone bullets, excalibur-mimicking weapons, and creepy little exploding cameras the size of eyeballs. Of course there are lots of dragons involved, and dragons are awesome.
The writing is good with nice description. Since I know this author personally I noticed a lot of his political views weaving in which was interesting. The book ends well, but definitely leaves you wanting for more.
The resonating theme of the story is definitely the theme of mercy. The characters witness a very corrupt and sinful world and think hard on if people like these deserve saving. Joran has a Ras' al Ghul moment as he thinks of carrying out judgement on an ignorant group of people, but when he witnesses true mercy from another character he comes to realize it isn't his place and that mercy and justice go hand and hand.
|This is almost exactly what Joran wanted to do. Not even kidding.|
"The Song is like the wind, invisible, yet able to fill a sail. It tickles the skin on your back, a hint of a tune, three notes, but the rest slips away. You know it is within you. You know it has changed you. You know more surely than you know that the sun shines in the sky. It is unspeakable glory. It is the full expression of God's mercy. Even if you cannot sing it, you feel it. You feel it with all your heart. And there is one way to hear it again. Whenever you offer the mercy that you have so graciously been granted, the song will be renewed and implanted in another. So, as long as we give mercy, we will be granted its cleansing flow and enjoy again the song of life." Timothy, The Song of the Ovulum by Bryan Davis, Page 308-309Another theme that really struck me was that there are more options than what darkness gives you. I see in shows and books where characters are presented with dilemmas that would break their moral code and often they cross that line, but I think the ones that don't cross that no matter what are so inspiring.
What I didn't like: There wasn't much I didn't like. Some of the chapters are very very long like twenty pages or more and this made reading it seem much slower. I cared more about Bonnie and Billy and cared less about Joran and Selah. I know their roles were important, but I wanted to skip them sometimes so I could know what happened with the people I cared more about.
Matt seemed to act a bit unnaturally. He seemed a bit too distinguished for a modern day teenager. He didn't use any regular phrasing until more than halfway through the book and he seemed awfully chill about digging around in someone's body during a makeshift surgery.
Content Cautions: There aren't any huge red flags in this book. Just some battle violence. This could be PG to PG-13.
All in all I enjoyed the book. It wasn't my favorite of his, but it definitely got my feels in an uproar. Four stars!
Bryan Davis is the author of the following young adult fantasy series: Dragons in our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Echoes from the Edge, and Dragons of Starlight. He also wrote I Know Why the Angels dance, a contemporary novel for adults.
After laboring as a computer geek for 20 years, Bryan followed a dream to become an author. He began by writing a story to motivate his seven children to gain some excitement about writing, and that story grew into a novel. After spending the next eight years learning the craft and enduring more than 200 rejections from publishers and agents, he broke through with his best-selling series Dragons in our Midst. He is now a full-time author and lives with his wife, Susie, and their children in western Tennessee.
You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and his website! I also have an interview with him I had on the blog!
I've reviewed several other books by this author:
Dragons of Starlight Book 3: Diviner
Dragons of Starlight Book 4: Liberator
Tales of Starlight Book 1: Masters & Slayers
Tales of Starlight Book 2: The Third Starlighter
Tales of Starlight Book 3: Exodus Rising
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