Friday, September 19, 2008

The Eyes of a King by Catherine Banner

Leo North is a gifted child. Though it is not apparent, his magical gifts must be suppressed under the laws of the kingdom. Leo lives in Malonia, a land ruled by the worst of kings who puts all his people under worry and strain. Leo's life has no prospects and appears bleak until he find a plain blank book in the snow. From the first time writing appears in the book, Leo is thrown into the minds of others and his life begins to change. Through the black book he is shown the life of Aldebranan, an exile who has similar yet stronger powers than Leo. This opens Leo's eyes to the hidden world just out of his reach. He must balance experiencing these secrets with striving for a normal life in the broken down kingdom he lives in. Leo's life becomes even more stressful when his brother falls critical ill and Leo is taken to fight the war. When everything goes wrong and you can't live another day, anything seems possible.

This was a very complicated book. It took me a while to get enthused about it as it is rather slow to start. However, once it became riveting and exciting, it was very hard to put down. The Eyes of a King was a creative and intriguing read which provoked a lot of thought. Leo is faced with decisions and situations which would be terrifying in reality. Watching them unfold in his life
was extremely confronting. I felt that I really related to this book and it both made me cry tears for the characters and be truly happy when things went their way. I found a few errors in the text, more than in most books and I often found myself lost with unnecessary complications with
how the story was written. The Eyes of a King was written by a girl of only fourteen years old and was her first novel. Knowing this, it was an exceptional debut and I will expect great things to come from this young author.

General mature content
Rating: 8

Reviewer Age: 14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Melbourne, Victoria. Australia