Wednesday, April 27, 2016

[ 2016 | Review #31 ] : "ROGUE KNIGHT"

Text copyright © 2014 by Brandon Mull
Cover illustration copyright © 2014 by Owen Richardson
Cover design by Jessica Handelman
Interior design by Hillary Zarycky
Printed in the United States of America
Published by Aladdin (an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
First Aladdin paperback edition November 2015
paperback ; 472 p | ISBN 978-1-4814-3001-2

“Since arriving in the Outskirts, Cole had flirted with death several times – while scouting sky castles, escaping Skyport, and battling his way through a dreamlike land created by some magical kid. And there was no foreseeable end to the danger. How many near misses could he expect to survive ?”
Runaway from Sky Raiders and nearly die chasing by legionnaires - soldiers of The High Shapers, Cole, Jace, Twitch and Mira still survive with the help of Joe – the messenger who got his order from Harmony Pemberton – High Shaper’s wife and mother of Mira, or also known as Princess Miracle who supposed to be dead many years ago along with all her sisters. During their journey to find what exactly they must do according a very few clue from Harmony, both Cole, Jace even Twitch become aware of Mira’s destiny. She reveal an awful secret hidden so many years, about the (attempted) murders on her and her sisters really just a cover when their own father keep them as prisoner so he could stolen their power ability, that now makes him the strongest Shaper in Outskirst and rules over all the five kingdoms, by elimanated his fellow Shapers, King’s of all Five Kingdoms.

Those are horrible and shocking news, even Cole who did not live in Outskirts too long, still can understand the pain and the suffering of Mira’s life. But those sadness and constant fear, also bring-out the mystery when Mira could not explain several part of her life or death, between the murder and the rescue mission by their mother. Force to run and living separately among sisters, Mira connection to the remains family only with his mother through her secret contact, since she also living in hidding from her crazy demented husband. So when Mira lose her contact to the Queen Harmony, she know something horrible about to happen. Starting by the legionnaires who somehow found her after all those years. Their escape plan turn into nightmare when they ‘suck’ into strange phenomenom at the end of the Eastern Cloudwall. Who knows that there is secret place behind that, where they meet the unexpected person (and peoples too).

Declan Pierce – the Grand Shaper of Sambria who pressume death after The High Shaper taking control of the Outskirts, still life and well, hiding so many years in unknown teritory. He also got help from loyal people, Jamar, Asia and Liam – who happen have some unique abilities too. With several semblances created by the Grand Shaper, he manage to build his new world. But the High Shaper also development new skill, some of them are mysterious and unknown by everyone. Declan admitted, even he could not defeat his long-time-friend-turn-into-enemy by itself. The only thing he could offer is to provide temporary sanctuary to Mira and her friends, then lead them to somewhere else, places where might be there is another chance for them to got more answers and help before they must face-to-face by the High Shaper.
“The Five daughter of Stafford Pemberton, High Shaper over the five kingdoms, were Elegance, Honor, Constance, Miracle, and Destiny. The girls supposedly died in a accident more than sixty yeras ago. Except they didn’t. they lived. Stafford faked their deaths so he could hold them as prisoner. He had somehow stolen their powers, but he needed them alive or he would lose his newfound talents. When he took their shaping abilities, the girls stopped aging. The process wasn’t merely slowed – they are all as young today as the day their father betrayed them. Their mother, Harmony, got wise to the plot and helped her daughters escape. The five royal princesses hide in exile to this very hour.”
While the (dangerous) adventure continues, Cole Randolph torn between his mission to find and rescuing his best friend Dalton and Jenna, then find away to return home in another world – with his new desire to help Mira. His new friendship with Jace and Twitch, knowing them much better by time they spend together, makes him so hard to just let them fighting alone against the High Shaper. Knowing the deep hidden secret among them, just makes the relationship tigher than ever. Like how Mira who always looks like eleven-year-old girl, actually much (a lot) older several years old, the love-crush Jace’s on Mira, over-protective act he have in her, who also confront Cole at the first they meet, or the truth-form who Twitch really looks like (believe me, he is not ‘normal’ teenager human) since he is ‘unique creature’ from Elloweer.

By the second book, I must say this is a kind of story suitable for much younger reader, teens at least. Not that is consider as ‘bad-story’, just the whole situation did not goes like my prediction. The chemistry between main-characters, can be describe as ‘childish’ in several occation, even they portrait as ‘mature’ in the story. Repeatitive scene, act and conversation, is one thing I dislike and somehow constantly appears in several middle-grade books. And even the journey itself describe as thrilling and full with action, somehow I just feels the whole plot just move ‘slowy’ as motorcycle that run-out gas. Maybe the author delibrately write very long scene (and repeatitive too) so thing story could ended in several series .... well, that something, somehow appears in my mind, ‘coz in my opinion, you can ‘cut-off’ several pages of its so this whole story makes more senses.

~ Map of Sambria ~ [ source ]
Did I (ever) wanted to read the sequels, well I did. “coz like I said before, the story itself not bad, only how the author use very long (and seems useless) scene-plot-pages, several of them becoming so chessy and childish for my taste. One thing good in all this charade, the mystery and adventures side still appealing for me to continue follow Cole, Jace, Twitch and Mira’s journey. While Dalton finally meet with Cole, his role added interesting part, makes me eager to known more did they will reunited with Jenna ? To describe the whole story, I could lead you into Lewis Carroll’s Alice Adventure’s in Wonderland – seems several parts of this, got their idea from that classic story, meet-up with some part another classic : scenery from The Wizards of Oz (^_^)

Conclusion :
Buku kedua serial ini seharusnya bisa lebih menarik mengingat situasi serta perkembangan karakter yang terlibat, jauh lebih kompleks. Munculnya karakter-karakter baru yang unik dan mengundang rasa penasaran, merupakan daya tarik tersendiri bagi penggemar kisah petualangan. Bahkan selubung misteri yang belum sepenuhnya terungkap, menjanjikan ‘sesuatu’ yang dipastikan membuat pembaca tetap mengikuti kisah ini dari awal hingga akhir. Satu-satunya keluhan yang kurasakan, dibandingkan buku pertama, kisah ini justru berjalan dalam ‘tempo’ yang lambat. Hal ini masih ditambah dengan hal-hal serupa yang kurasakan pada buku pertama.

Pengulangan demi pengulangan situasi serta adegan termasuk dialog yang nyaris serupa. Bagaimana penulis menjabarkan karakter yang di satu sisi tampil ‘dewasa’ dan matang secara logika dan pikiran, namun acapkali bertingkah laku lumayan ‘childish’ (kekanak-kanakan), terasa cukup janggal. Jika diperbolehkan melakukan ‘editan’ maka beberapa halaman kisah ini menurutku harus dihapuskan, tanpa merubah atau berpengaruh besar pada keseluruhan kisah (kecuali membuat pembaca dewasa tidak cepat bosan dan jenuh dalam menikmati kisah ini). Yeahh ... rasanya ini tipikal bacaan yang lebih tepat untuk kalangan anak-anak hingga remaja.

[ book 2 of FIVE KINGDOMS Series ]
Text copyright © 2014 by Brandon Mull
Cover illustration copyright © 2014 by Owen Richardson

Rate : 3.5 of 5

Tentang Penulis :
Brandon Mull adalah penulis seri Beyonders serta Fablehaven, seri terlaris versi New York Times, USA Today, dan Wall Street Journal. Dia tinggal di Utah, di lembah kecil indah dekat mulut sebuah ngarai, bersama istri dan keempat anaknya. Moto hidupnya adalah : “Jangan membuat orang lain merasa bosan.”

[ more about this author and related works, just visit at here  : Brandon Mull | on Goodreads | on Wikipedia | Fablehaven Site | Five Kingdoms Site | at Twitter | at Facebook

Best Regards,


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