An Aurora YA Review: And The Children Shall Lead (Children of the Knight #4) by Michael J. Bowler

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Rating: 4 out of 5

The campaign to save California’s children was only the beginning. Now King Arthur and his Round Table of teenaged knights set their sights on fixing something even bigger – the entire country. How? By targeting America’s most sacred document – The Constitution.

And the Children Shall Lead coverNative American teens Kai and Dakota, despite harboring secrets of their own, join the team, and swear undying loyalty to Lance. They carry the hope of their people that the crusade will better the lives of Indian children, who are the most neglected by government. This new campaign will take the young people to The White House, the halls of Congress, and beyond in their quest to change the prevailing opinion that children are property, rather than human beings in their own right.

But an unseen nemesis stalks Lance and Arthur, and ratchets up the attacks on New Camelot, promising to kill them and destroy all that the king has put in place. Lance, Ricky, Kai, and Dakota become the enemy’s favorite targets, and barely escape with their lives on more than one occasion. Who is this mysterious stalker, and what is the motive for these attacks? Lance has no idea, especially since he’s never intentionally hurt anyone.

“You were right, little boy, death is coming for you, but slowly, and only after it takes out the people you love.” That chilling promise haunts Lance, but also strengthens his determination to protect the people he loves at all costs. Or die trying.

The Knight Cycle continues…

This book was really interesting and I loved to see the diversity that was represented in this particular installment of the series. Of course there was diversity from the beginning and that was one of the things that I liked straight away about the first book. But this one even went further with that and represented Native Americans, who I very, very rarely see represented in a respectful way in books. And especially in young adult books.

The fact that Native American culture was so important to this book was something I thought was really cool and also something I think will probably be a great influence to young adults who read this book. Especially since it’s so integrated in with all the action and the very exciting plot that I, as a young adult, really enjoy, and I think other people my age would also really like about the book without even noticing the representation and just accepting it.

The cover artist was Reese Dante.: This isn’t my favorite cover of the series, but I do still like it and I absolutely still think that’s it’s very good at, again, tying in with the rest of the series and showing the progression of the books. And I think the cover would be appealing to a new reader.

Sales Link:   Amazon             “>Buy It Here

Book Details:

Paperback, 302 pages
Published September 22nd 2014 by Michael J. Bowler
ISBN 0990306364 (ISBN13: 9780990306368)
edition languageEnglish
seriesChildren of the Knight #4, The Knight Cycle #4
other editions,None found

Children of the Knight, The Knight Cycle Stories include:

  • Children of the Knight
  • Running Through a Dark Place (Children of the Knight, #2)
  • There Is No Fear (Children of the Knight, #3)
  • And The Children Shall Lead (Children of the Knight, #4)

An Aurora YA Review: There Is No Fear (Children of the Knight, #3) by Michael J. Bowler

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The most famous boy in the world is a prisoner. He’s been charged with a crime he didn’t commit, a crime that could send him to prison for the rest of his life. Languishing within The Compound, the most secure juvenile facility in California, while the district attorney vows to make an example of him because of his celebrity status, Lance must endure the daily indignities of There is No Fear coverthe incarcerated.

New Camelot is fractured without him. Ricky and Chris are bereft, living for the weekly phone call that becomes their only lifeline to the brother they so desperately love, while Arthur and Jenny feel the loss of their son with a sadness that can’t be quelled. And what about Michael, the highly volatile teen who helped write the proposition that will change California forever? Could he really be the monster he says he is? His hatred of Ricky is palpable, and his instability may well threaten the lives of everyone at New Camelot.

As the election looms closer, Proposition 51 takes on an even greater significance in light of the pending trial of the century. The more harshly fifteen-year-old Lance is treated within the broken justice system, the more he contemplates the wisdom of his idea that children need more adult rights. If The Child Voter Act becomes law, won’t it simply allow adults to throw more kids into prison with impunity?

Whichever way the voters decide, his greatest fear remains the same: will he ever again be with the people he loves?

The Knight Cycle Continues…

This book was really great! Even as the plot gets more complex and things progress within the larger story, the characters stay just as complex and develop throughout the whole book in a way that’s really satisfying to the audience, or at least to this audience member. I had a great time reading it, and I loved the plot. It’s a rare thing to see in young adult books especially, and I loved seeing the whole thing unfold.

As I was reading it, I found myself looking forward to what was going to happen next on every single page and when I reached the end of the book I was really looking forward to being able to read the next one. This was the most exciting, for me, of the first few books. I had a great time reading it and finding out what was going to happen to all the characters and where the plot was leading.  I also couldn’t wait to see where the author would end up going next, since this series has so many original ideas and I’ve really been looking forward to seeing the ideas behind every single book as I’ve been reading them.

Cover art by Reese Dante: I really liked this cover! It’s really beautiful and it definitely drew my attention. It really followed in the theme of the other books and still represented it well, to someone coming to this book even maybe not knowing it’s part of a series would still be drawn to the cover and it would get them to at least pick the book up. It’s very well put together.

Sales Link:  Amazon       Buy It Here

Book Details:

Paperback, 284 pages
Published July 17th 2014 by Michael J Bowler
ISBN139780990306337
edition languageEnglish
seriesChildren of the Knight #3, The Knight Cycle #3

Books in the Children of the Knight, The Knight Cycle Series are:

  • Children of the Knight
  • Running Through a Dark Place (Children of the Knight, #2)
  • There Is No Fear (Children of the Knight, #3)
  • And The Children Shall Lead (Children of the Knight, #4)

 

An Aurora YA Review: Running Through a Dark Place (Children of the Knight #2) by Michael J. Bowler

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Rating: 4 out of 5

King Arthur and his extraordinary young Knights used ‘might’ for ‘right’ to create a new Camelot in the City of Angels. Running Through a Dark Place coverThey rallied the populace around their cause, while simultaneously putting the detached politicians in check. But now they must move forward to even greater heights, despite what appears to be an insurmountable tragedy.

Their new goal is lofty: give equality to kids fourteen and older who are presently considered adults only when they break the law. Arthur’s crusade seeks to give them real rights such as voting, driving, trading high school for work, and sitting as jurors for their peers charged with criminal behavior.

Understanding that the adults of California will likely be against them, Arthur and his Knights must determine how best to win them over.

However, before the king can even contemplate these matters, he finds himself face to face with an ally from the past, one who proves that everything isn’t always what it seems – even life and death.

The Knight Cycle Continues…

 

This book is just as interesting and original as the first one was, and the characters were just as good, if not better. The author did a great job of toeing the line between fantasy and contemporary. There were enough elements of the world we’re used to that it was easy to relate to and there was still enough fantasy and differences that it was still incredibly interesting.

It was also inspiring to see that teenagers were taking things into their own hands and were even working against adults because it often isn’t acknowledged that just because adults are older doesn’t mean that they’re always right in comparison to younger people. The friendships in the book were also a really enjoyable thing to watch and read about.

All in all, it was just a fun book, and something I had a good time reading. I would definitely recommend it and especially to teenagers who want to see themselves represented in a different manner than usual.

The cover artist is Reese Dante. Although I prefer drawn covers to photo edited covers, I still think that the book looks really nice and I like the fact that the cover isn’t too busy as some that feature the character on the cover. It’s interesting and represents the book well, and I think it would really draw someone’s eyes to the book in a shop or online.

Sales Links:  Author Website      Amazon       Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 425 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Michael J Bowler (first published May 1st 2014)
ISBN139780990306313
edition languageEnglish
seriesChildren of the Knight #2, The Knight Cycle
also available in paperback

Books in The Knight Cycle Series:

  • Children of the Knight
  • Running Through a Dark Place (Children of the Knight, #2)
  • There Is No Fear (Children of the Knight, #3)
  • And The Children Shall Lead (Children of the Knight, #4)

 

An Aurora YA Review: Fire (Dreams of Fire and Gods #2) by James Erich

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A thousand years ago, two rival factions of gods, the Stronni and Taaweh, nearly destroyed the Kingdom of Dasak in their war for power. Then the Taaweh vanished and the Stronni declared victory.

Fire- Dreams of Fire and Gods coverNow, tensions between the human emperor and his regent are at an all-time high. The regent’s son, apprentice mage Sael dönz Menaük, has fled the capital with his master and united with a vagabond named Koreh, but assassins dog their footsteps. The future is more uncertain than ever.

Since the Taaweh city of Gyishya reappeared, the mages of Harleh have weakened, cut off from the source of their power. Sael and his father struggle to keep their respective cities from crumbling under the strain or being destroyed by the gods. Then Koreh learns of a dangerous Taaweh plan to rescue their queen from the Stronni—a plan only Koreh and Sael can execute.

But they may not get a chance. In Harleh Valley, a young man named Donegh pieces together what happened. Intent, he makes his way through an increasingly alien landscape to carry out his mission: assassinate the Dekan of Harleh, Sael dönz Menaük.

Now that I’ve read this whole series, the only thing I really want to do is read all the books over again! The characterization in these books was just so wonderful and made me really interested not only in the incredibly well thought-out plot, but also in what was happening to the characters and how things were going to go for them. I’ve said this before, but the epic scale in a lot of books similar to this series often ends up taking away from in-depth characterization and that is not a problem that these books have.

On top of that, the writing is just absolutely beautiful and the descriptions of what is happening in the books create a wonderful picture in the reader’s mind. Focusing so much on the characters and the writing isn’t to say that the plot isn’t also incredible. I tend to look more at the characters than the plot when I read simply because I have to care about them to enjoy the plot at all. I do care about the characters in this series, and it lets me see that every single facet of the plot seems very well thought out and carefully considered so that it all comes together in a masterful way.

I absolutely would recommend it, although starting with the first book and working through them is, of course, the best way to read them. In my opinion, these books aren’t really meant to be read out of order or only one of them to be read.

Cover art by Paul Richmond. All of the covers for all of the books in these series have been wonderful, and they are really just incredibly pleasing to the eye. I love the way they represent the different gods and the overall ideas in the book but are still so simplistic and easy to look over.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback  All Romance (ARe)  Amazon         Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published March 1st 2013 by Harmony Ink Press
Harmony Ink is  YA Press(first published February 1st 2013)
ISBN 1623804485 (ISBN13: 9781623804480)
edition languageEnglish
seriesDreams of Fire and Gods #2

Books in the Dreams of Fire and Gods Series:

  • Dreams (Dreams of Fire and Gods, #1)
  • Fire (Dreams of Fire and Gods, #2)
  • Gods (Dreams of Fire and Gods, #3)

Dreams Dreams of Fire and Gods

Fire- Dreams of Fire and Gods coverGods Dreams of Fire and Gods cover