'Demetrius makes his first mistake when he lets his best friend Halcyon marry Eleyna, the love of his life, without saying a word. On the day of the wedding, he walks away from the Elencheran town of Dove's Meadow and joins the army. He makes his second mistake when the pirate Black Iris tricks him into letting
dozens of men, women and children die in a fire. Demetrius is imprisoned in grief and disgrace. But he can atone. The Black Iris is dead. The Ivory Rose has risen to the top of the pirates and is leading brutal raids on the coast.
If Demetrius can capture and kill her, he'll win his pardon. And then Demetrius discovers the Ivory Rose is Eleyna. He must decide which will be his third mistake: losing his last chance at a pardon or destroying the one woman he's ever loved.'
The latest instalment of Brown’s ‘The Elencheran Chronicles’, ‘A World Apart’ follows the fortunes of Demetrius, a soldier brought up on a sheep farm in a place called Dove’s Meadow, by his father and grandfather. Growing up,
Demetrius’ best friends were Halcyon and Eleyna; they form a gang and do
everything together. However, the friends are torn apart when Demetrius and
Eleyna fall in love, but don’t admit their feelings, and Eleyna then marries
Halcyon. On the day of their wedding Demetrius leaves Dove’s Meadow and joins the Order, the military government that rules Elenchera.
Halycon and Eleyna end up as pirates, and are inadvertently responsible for destroying Demetrius career and getting him sentenced to the Pit, a disgusting hole for thieves. Demetrius sets out to seek his revenge on The Ivory Rose, the notorious leader of the pirates, but what will he do when he discovers that The Ivory Rose is none other than Eleyna?
I liked that the author allowed me to learn about Elenchera as the book progressed rather than just dumping a load of information on me at the
beginning of the story. This meant that I felt as if I was constantly exploring,
and discovering more about the land.
I was impressed by the quality of Brown’s writing, and Demetrius story was very appealing – the use of the pirates in the tale made it stand out and led to some great scenarios. Demetrius is firmly on the side of the Order, whilst the pirates want to free Elenchera from the Order’s very rigid rule. To be honest, both sides make such compelling arguments. I really wasn’t sure who
to root for at times.
The story has quite a build up before Demetrius is even born, which was a little surprising. I enjoyed this part of the book, but it perhaps wasn’t all absolutely necessary. In fact the book is so long that I did feel that there were parts that could have been cut out, and this tighter editing would maybe have made a smoother story.
Each of the novels in the Elencheran Chronicles is stand-alone and set in a different time-period, with its own, individual cast. This of
course means that the reader can begin reading the series in whatever order they
like, which appealed to me. Brown’s world was engaging and original, and I’d
certainly recommend his very entertaining series.
‘Jen has settled into a peaceful life when a terrifying event awakens old fears - of being homeless and alone, of a danger horrible enough to destroy her family and shatter her world forever. She is certain that Naryfel, a shadowy figure from her past, has returned and is concentrating the full force of her hate on Jen's family. But how will she strike? A knife in the dark? An attack from her legions? Or with the dark arts and twisted creatures she commands with sinister cunning? Wyndano's Cloak may be Jen's only hope. If she can only trust that she has what it takes to use it. A tale of madness, friendship, and courage, "Wyndano's Cloak" reveals the transformative power of love and forgiveness, and the terrible consequences of denying who you really are.’
Princess Jenren lives in a castle in the kingdom of Aerdem with her mother, father, brother and best friend Bit, her brother’s fiancée. However, her life has been far from easy: thanks to her aunt, the evil Queen Naryfel, Jenren, or Jen to her friends, spent a large part of her childhood separated from her family and living as an orphan in the magic-less Plain World before learning of her royal heritage.
When Queen Naryfel strikes again, Jen and her mother are captured, whilst her father and brother are attacked by a magical plant which is slowly suffocating them.
Bit sets out with her friend the Countess Petunia on a quest to the Plain World for a doctor who can free Dash and the King from their captivity. Meanwhile, Jen befriends a mysterious young man named Blue whom she must learn to trust if she and her mother are to escape.
Jen knows the key to saving her family and their kingdom is the magical Wyndano’s Cloak, but having been injured the last time she wore it, Jen is reluctant to use it. Can she overcome her fear if she has to?
This award-winning fantasy novel is aimed at girls aged between about 10 and 15. It has mainly females as its core protagonists. Whilst I think in principle this is a wonderful idea, and the book certainly provides several very good female role models, it did seem a little one sided, I missed the boys!
I thought the character development in this tale was superb, particularly in the case of Bit who really grows in confidence during the book. All the leads are put in very unusual and uncomfortable situations and it was brilliant to see how they coped and came out stronger and better people for enduring their hardships.
A.R. Silverberry's liking for ending a chapter with a cliff hanger is a well-tested technique and one which succeeded in keeping me reading ‘just a couple more pages’ before bed. With plenty of twists, turns and surprises the plot kept me intrigued and anxious to find out more.
For a book named after the cloak in it, the item of clothing in question was barely mentioned, I would have liked it to have been referenced far more frequently so there was an enhanced feeling of anticipation when Jen puts it on again. When it finally is used, I was so caught up in the immediate happenings that I’d almost forgotten about the cloak’s existence at all.
This novel is sure to be adored by its readership. Silverberry has created an exciting and enticing story set within an enchanting and magical backdrop that’s bound to captivate many. Despite it being aimed at a considerably younger audience than myself I enjoyed it and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for the teenage market.
3 and a half stars