FarWorld: Land Keep (Book #2) by J. Scott Savage
(Summary taken from the back of the book) “Four mythical elementals-Water, Land, Air, and Fire-have the power to save two worlds, Earth and Farworld, from a common enemy: the Dark Circle. In book two, Land Keep, Marcus and Kyja travel with Cascade, a Water Elemental, toward Land Keep, the home of the powerful and wise Land Elementals. However, their journey may end before it even begins. Land Keep is empty, deserted for at least a thousand years, and the rumor is that the creatures who once controlled all land magic are extinct. Marcus ad Kyja’s only hope seems to lie in finding the Augur Well, a legendary Oracle protected by subtle traps and mind-bending trials. To succeed in their quest, Marcus and Kyja must also avoid the Keepers of the Balance, an order dedicated to redistributing magic to the rich and powerful. And they must travel far underground, where Cascade is unable to follow and where they will be unable to leap to the safety of Earth. As the Dark Circle closes around them, Marcus and Kyja are faced with the temptation of what they desire most. Sacrifices must be made, and not everyone will survive unscathed.”
I think I liked this book more than the first one. I liked the tests and trials of Land Keep. I liked that Marcus and Kyja had to use their bodies and brains for each of the tests. I think the writing is a little better in this book as well. Marcus and Kyja are still what makes the book. Their characters and their relationship drive this book and series. I love that it shows how they overcome challenges and adversity even though they may have some disabilities. I love that it shows how they work together to accomplish goals. In real life we all need a support group to help us through. I’m always trying to teach my kids that by working together they can accomplish more, quicker, and this book is a great example of that. The evil guys get a little more evil and a little scarier, but I still think the 4th-5th graders will do fine with it. The war at the end is quite intense, and I loved a lot of the twists. There were a few I wasn’t too happy with….think betrayal…..but overall, I thought it fit well and brought in some foreshadowing from the first book. I was wondering what Mr. Savage would do for evil guys in the next book because….well, I won’t tell you what happens, but….just you wait. The ending, oh the ending. I read it and said, “What??? No…..” Then I re-read it just to make sure that is what it really said, and I read it again just in case it had changed. Unfortunately, it’s a cliff-hanger surprise that took me off guard and made me very mad. Suffice it to say, I MUST READ the NEXT BOOK. Luckily for me, it’s under my bed. If you liked the first book, you will definitely want to read this one!
Rating: PG+ (Sword and magic fighting, war, evilness, death, death of some known characters, betrayal. No language or “physical intimacy”–except maybe a small kiss.)
Recommendation: 4th to 5th grade and up. As always, I recommend a parent reads it first because each child has different sensitivities and levels of maturity.
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.