Review Blog

Sep 15 2015

The Almost King by Lucy Saxon

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Bloomsbury 2015. ISBN 9781408847701
(Age: Middle school) Adventure, fantasy, relationships, family. Set in the storm bound world of Tellus Lucy Saxon's sequel to Take Back the Skies introduces Aleks Vasin of Siberene. 17 year old Aleks doesn't want to spend the rest of his life working in the family shop, a burden to his struggling family, always in the shadow of his older brothers so he runs away to join the army. Unfortunately he signs up at the notoriously corrupt Rensav training camp where he is robbed and abused. Escaping with his horse he heads for the capital, Syvana where he hopes to hide among the crowds. Aleks is very fortunate and finds strangers offer kindness and support including a room at an inn with stabling for his horse in exchange for helping out with the chores. He also finds work with an eccentric inventor who is working on constructing a small, fast airship to explore beyond the storm barriers and he meets Saria who quickly becomes his girlfriend. Everything seems to be going his way until Shulga, a corrupt Kingsguard officer, tracks him down. Escape in the experimental airship leads to adventure and exploration beyond Aleks' wildest dreams. While set in the same world this sequel has little connection with Saxon's first novel apart from the steampunkish skyships and strange mismatch of technologies. Aleks, like the plot, seems to lack direction and development but those middle school girls and boys who enjoyed the first book will enjoy his adventures and look forward to the next Tellus sequel.
Sue Speck

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