Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Legend of Oescienne - The Beginning (Book 2)

 The Legend of Oescienne
The Beginning (Book 2)
Jenna Elizabeth Johnson

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The Legend of Oescienne - The Beginning (Book 2)
Middle grade/YA Fantasy

     Twelve years have passed since Jahrra arrived in Oescienne and became the responsibility of the old Korli dragon Hroombra; yet much can happen in twelve years. So far, Jahrra's life has been filled with adventure, danger, friendship and even loss. Despite what she has learned in school and what she has learned from life, she has no idea that she is in fact human, a child of the race that has been absent from the world of Ethöes for five long centuries . . .
     But the girl's identity must be kept secret, even from Jahrra herself, for if the Tyrant King of the East knew of her existence all would be lost. And as time goes by those responsible for the young human girl grow anxious and cautious, for there is evidence of an unknown danger in their midst; a danger they cannot see or hear, but one they can sense like a bad omen.
     As Jahrra continues to grow and learn about the world around her, facing personal dangers, challenges and enemies of her own, she will become aware of the prophecy that she is meant to fulfill and what she must sacrifice in order to survive what lies before her.

Review (from the book's product page on amazon.com):
After reading the first book in the series I was pleased by the author's writing and the engaging characters that she has created. I made it a point to purchase this second book and I am glad that I did. This book continues with the story of Jahrra, the only human being remaining in a world populated by dragons, elves and a variety of other creatures. While Jahrra has matured greatly in this second book, so too has the writer's skill. While the first book in the series was well written, the evocative language in this book as well as the character development truly swept me into the world the author has created. I have read an uncountable number of books in my lifetime and I can honestly recommend this book as an example of some of the best writing out there. If you miss out on this book because it is not "commercial" like some others, you are missing out on a rich and inviting world to sink into. I cannot wait until the next book comes out!

As for what the book is about, I would probably still characterize it as "young adult" although I, as an adult, found it very interesting and not over-simplified as many YA books seem to be. Mainly, the character, Jahrra is in the young adult age range and many of her trials in this book involve coming-of-age. The fantasy in the book is there but melds subtly into the world rather than existing as a formulaic mash-up of predictable elements. My only real complaint is that I have to wait for the next book to find out more about characters I have grown to care about!

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