Sets the Stage Well for a Climactic Battle
When a book series is building to an obvious climax, sometimes the middle books can suffer. They have a job of do – set up what happens in later books – and sometimes that overshadows what actually happens in the current book. I’m happy to say that isn’t the case with TheTimeless One, the fourth in James Riley’s The Revenge of Magic series.
If you are new to the series DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES START HERE. In fact, I’m tempted to say you shouldn’t even read this review because it’s hard to talk about this book without offering spoilers for what has happened in the previous books. I’m not saying that James Riley doesn’t try to introduce readers to this world as he writes this book. But there are twists that are spoiled by picking up this book.
A quick recap – this series follows Fort Fitzgerald who lost his father in an attack on Washington DC by monsters who came from underground. It is then that Fort learns about magic, and joins a school that teaches it in an attempt to find and save his father.
As this book opens, Fort is home for the first time in months, separated from all the new friends he’s made. He, Rachel, and Jia have one year to re-find Excalibur and train to fight the Timeless One. Meanwhile, Fort also has a baby dragon he not only has to try to hide from his guardians but also from someone who has been sent to find it.
And that’s all I am going to say because any more would spoil something.
When I reviewed the last book, I mentioned that I normally don’t read post-apocalyptic books, and that’s definitely how that book felt. I’m thrilled to say that this book took a step back from that and instead read more like a fantasy book. It certainly helped that we aren’t trying to stop an imminent attack or dealing with the aftermath of one. Some scenes in this book almost felt normal, and there were some funny scenes as well, which I really enjoyed.
This isn’t to say that the pace was slow. I was engaged from the first page and Fort is trying to balance several different things at once. There are some secrets, but they aren’t as prevalent as in the last book, and do come out in their own good time. Meanwhile, the characters continue to be strong and make us care about the outcome. While Fort has always been the star of the series, this is more his book since we don’t see as much of the other main characters. However, their absences work for the book and they shine when they are on the page.
I mentioned at the beginning that this book sets things up for a climatic fifth book (coming in the spring). Even with that set up, this book still has a definite beginning, middle, and end all its own, so I set it down satisfied. Well, except for the cliffhangers. Yes, plural. Is the next book out yet?
Fans who have been reading The Revenge of Magic will be very happy with The Timeless One and be left eagerly awaiting the final book in the series. If you haven’t started this series yet, I recommend backing up to earlier books before trying to jump into this page turner.
Here are the rest of books in The Revenge of Magic series.
This review is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays.