Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review: The Eyes of a King, Catherine Banner

The Plot:  Fifteen-year-old Leo lives in Malonia, a rigid, military state ruled by a usurper who murdered the king.  But there is a prophecy that the prince escaped to mythical England, and will one day return to rule the country.  Leo doesn’t care about prophecies or politics.  He cares about his parents, who were exiled during the revolution, the sergeant at military school who seems to have it in for him, and his little brother, Stirling. Then Stirling dies, and Leo has to overcome his sorrow and guilt.

Catherine Banner started writing The Eyes of a King at age fourteen, and was published at sixteen.  Since she accomplished this before graduating high-school, and I have yet to finish a manuscript, I probably shouldn’t critique her at all.  But this is my blog and I’ll do what I want.  Eyes gets an A for character development, and a D for plot.  The characters are all very realistic, (if a little dramatic and moody) but the plot takes place in the background.  I probably wouldn’t be friends with any of the main characters, but they all feel like people I could easily meet on the street.  Violent takeovers, prophecies, and communication with other worlds are all generally a big deal, but here they seem like an afterthought.  The plot seems like it just something to fill the void between Leo’s bouts with rage or grief.  I love the fact that England is a “mythical place.” The book format, a book being written to a mysterious person, is very unique.  And the plot has potential to be great.  I’ve been told that the plot is much stronger in her second (yes, she already has a second) book, so we shall see.  J 

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