Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Dark Kingdom

The Dark Kingdom (Sage Saga, #2)The Dark Kingdom by Julius St. Clair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Dark Kingdom was a strong follow up to The Last of the Sages. We meet up again with the sages prior to their quest to take and destroy the five kingdoms power stones.

We gain increasing prospective on all the sages and see in depth their flaws. Even in the first book it was clear that Kyran and Dominic had issues of their own, but the others particularly Arimus, Scarlet, and Achan have even greater issues that I'd hate to spoil.

The storytelling was smooth and it was good to see James learning and actually growing up. Even with the editing mistakes I thought I may have given this one 5 stars, but the ending sealed its fate as 4 stars. The ending wasn't bad but just not quite good enough to justify a 5 star rating.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

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The Last of The Sages

The Last Of The Sages (Sage Saga, #1)The Last Of The Sages by Julius St. Clair
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Last Of The Sages was a pleasant surprise. I got the book for free and I really didn't have any expectations for it even though the cover and title seemed cool.

So as the description mentioned the main character James is a major layabout and because of that his father signed him up for the Academy. Unfortunately the Academy's reputation is that everyone who enlists dies shortly thereafter. The exchange between James and his father in the first chapter is good, but the rest of the chapter which revolves around James and his friends is largely pointless.

When James arrives at the academy he almost immediately takes a 180 personality wise which was a bit annoying. This major slacker gets massive ambition, drive, and interest to learn. Almost instantly after learning about Sage's, the elite warriors of the Kingdom, he decides he's going to be one and does everything he can to qualify to train as one. Once I got past the inconsistencies of his personality the story really got interesting.

Much of the rest of the book revolves around his new life particularly interacting with his other students and training. Also note for manga fans, I got a strong vibe of Naruto in the character James and Kakashi in Arimus. A particular test seemed quite similar to the Chunnin exams second stage in the Forest of Death in the Naruto manga. There were also some portions reminiscent of the manga Bleach.

I don't want to spoil any details, but it was a fun read. Some additional editing could've made this into a four or possibly even a five star for me.

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