RISE OF CENTURIA by James A. Harris


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This sequel sees the champions of Palatovia fight a power-hungry lord on multiple fronts.

The city of Centuria has been destroyed. Lord Emalf, aided by vast demonic hordes, still searches for several artifacts that will help him rule the world of Palatovia. One of those relics, the Book of Stars, is in 10-year-old Ptolemy’s possession. But the boy wizard is aboard an airship piloted by Pepper, a former Centurian warrior. When a dragon attacks the ship, Ptolemy falls to the woods below. Back in the rubble of Centuria, Gen. Gathar leads a team in search of survivors. The only one the band locates is Nydraia, one of the water-wielding nes kaliba. The general and his group head to the neighboring kingdom of Salidon to learn more about their own missing King Katimi. Meanwhile, Ptolemy ends up in the care of the lagartos (a lizard people). Their elder, Krangalson, reminds the boy that “the stars tell us many things. They can point us in the right direction and…lead us down terrible paths.” Ptolemy later reunites with his father, Gen Gathar, and the brave band in the city of Chugean. There, a magical table combines with the Book of Stars to reveal that the key to Lord Emalf’s defeat lies in the catacombs beneath Centuria. In this action-oriented fantasy novel, Harris (Fall of Centuria, 2015) and debut author Creedon continue fleshing out vivid characters and places, such as King Roberts of Salidon and the eclectic Chugean, which allows readers to breathe between battle sequences. Some concepts are fascinating enough to warrant more exploration than they receive, like the table “made from a world tree” that “soaks in all information that occurs in the natural world.” The main plot paints good and evil in black-and-white terms, leaving little room for nuance aside from “we shall not let our enemies control us. Chugean has a race planned next week and that race will happen.” The clashes, which feature everything from sea monsters to giant spiders, are imaginatively conceived but a touch overwrought. The narrative glides in for a predictably happy ending.

A fantasy in which good-natured heroes drift through one battle too many.

Pub Date: June 10th, 2018
Page count: 241pp
Publisher: Self
Program: Kirkus Indie
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