by Christina Weigand
I wasn't quite sure what to make of this book, as it had a very good, somewhat unique, plot, but was poorly executed. It's a coming-of-age story about twin princes, Joachim and Brandon, who are suddenly faced with decisions beyond their maturity when one of them is kidnapped and the kingdom faces war. (see full synopsis here)
It was a very choppy read. As a Christian allegory, the book focuses on the tension between good and evil, but it paints things as either black or white. There is no guessing as to where any of the characters' allegiances lie, because each of them is either good or bad (with the exception of one sketchy figure who drifts in and out of the story, only revealing his full identity towards the end. He is, perhaps, my favorite character).
Continuing along this line of thought, the characters are woefully underdeveloped. In fact, there is very little detail at all. The author even introduces new races (this is a fantasy, after all), but never describes them. And the text is riddled with grammatical errors, misspellings and other such atrocities. I don't mind if there's only one or two overlooked mistakes, but I found something on nearly every page.
Finally, each major change that occurs (the coming-of-age part) happens very abruptly and as an over-night type deal; nothing in this book happens gradually. Such writing would work for a middle-grade fantasy, but this is a young adult novel. There needs to be more tension.
This book has some great potential; despite all of its shortcomings it still managed to draw me into the story at times. I would just like to see it go back to the editor for some thorough proofreading and a bit of fleshing out, and if that happens, I will gladly re-read it and amend my review. This could be a fantastic young adult novel someday.