Monday, December 16, 2013

Book Review: The Trials of the Core

The Trials of the Core by Michael E. Thies
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

I have to admit that, after reading the first few pages of the book, I felt like I will not like it. However, it grew on me and pretty soom I got caught up in it.

The Trials of the Core (Guardian of the Core, #1)The story revolves around 6 contestants that have been selected by The Guardian. The Guardian's name is Edwyrd Eska and he is approaching the end of his 200 year term as Guardian of the Gladonus universe and he lives in the Core. Before the end of his term, he needs to find an apprentice.

Being Guardian is no easy task and choosing an apprentice is not as simple as it seems either. The 6 contestants have to pass 4 tests. Prince Hydro Paen of the planet of Acquava, Prince Cain, Cadmar, Gabrielle, Eirek and Zain are the contestants that have been chosen out of the many that had applied for the apprenticeship.

Some contestants have deep secrets. Prince Hydro Paen wants to win at all costs in order to make his mother and his kingdom proud -- plus the fact that he does not want to become King of Acquava and be trapped with all those duties and responsibilities. Zain wants to bring his dead girlfriend back to life and believes that being Guardian will give him the power to do so but he pushed his best friend Zakk (who was also chosen) off the ship that was picking up contestants and watched as Zakk plummeted down into a lake.

The story is being told by each of three characters -- Zain, Hydro, and Eirek. The reader is able now to "see" or perceive what is happening through the eyes of the "storyteller." For example, when Hydro is the character telling the story, the reader will tend to feel so sorry for him because his mother blames him for his sister's death and he craves his mother's love and attention. However, when the other two characters tell the story, the reader will see Hydro as a self-centered, arrogant, prince who believes he is better than everyone else because he is a royal.

As there will only be one apprentice, only the contestant who wins the most tests will win. But who will the winner be? Will it be one of the two Prince's as they have been trained and groomed all their lives? Will it be Zain or Gabrielle who are both among the best students of their elite academies? Will it be Cadmar whose father is an elite warrior? Or will it be Eirek who is a commoner and possess no great fighting skill nor magic?

There is a great twist near the end that truly caught me by surprise. And it set the tone for what readers can expect in the next book in the series.

The story builds and readers will soon become caught up in the tests and the characters. There are lots of unexpected twists and turns which will surely keep readers hooked until the very last page. I love the way the story is told by different characters because it allows me to see things from different points of view. I hope the other books in the series will be as exciting or even more so.

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