Rating: 5 stars
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I believe it is important to acknowledge that I am not normally a big fan of Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Paranormal stories. The genres, while important, don’t really interest me. They are in a word, just, okay. Leave it up to author John Goode to make a liar out of me. Eye of the Storm, his second installment in the Lords of Arcadia series is a bit of all those abovementioned genres…and so much more.
Nine alternate realms, dark elves, faeries, ogres, gem elementals, frigus, a Djinn, Titania, Puck, and Oberon, and one incredible human. They all come together in one amazingly well crafted novel that unfolds one new world after another like someone shucking pearls from oysters.
The story picks up where Distant Rumblings leaves off. Kane plummets into Arcadia, but to not where Prince Hawk, Titania’s son and heir to the throne has been taken. Instead he comes to a frozen wasteland where the Frigus live, a race of people whose warriors can form ice spears and entire walls of ice from the energy within them and who control the cold by being a part of it.
Thrust into this realm, Kane is rescued by Ferra, an outcast amongst her people, and goes up against the elders, barely escaping with his life. He, a regenerated Ruber (that delightful Prince from book one who happens to be a gem elemental), and Ferra set out to find and rescue Hawk. They find themselves thrust into Puck’s attempt along with the dark elves to grab the seat of power from Titania and Oberon. Puck is also searching for Hawk in order to get from him the secret of Ascension—for without the secret, Puck cannot take control of the nine realms.
The group clashes, leaving a weakened Hawk and Kane along with a severely injured Ferra to barely escape. Ruber takes them to his home to heal and hole up in order to take time to figure out their strategy for bringing down Puck. Puck has one more destructive force in his arsenal and all hell breaks loose when a djinn is unleashed. The djinn’s one purpose is to kill Prince Hawk.
The story evolves and I can go no further without giving up key elements that would ultimately ruin the book for you, dear reader. Suffice it to say, Eye of the Storm is one action packed moment after another. Along the way author John Goode rolls out new worlds, fascinating creatures, and political intrigue that leaves one breathless.
Kane, our fearless human, shows a new face—a depth of character that speaks of loyalty to his friends, his love for Hawk, and his keen wit and an amazing proclivity to fall into danger wherever it may exist. We see a new side of Hawk, glimmers of the type of leader he will be, a softening of the arrogance he has been raised to believe, and a deepening of his love for Kane. Ruber becomes so much more than a piece of rock—we meet his family and see his love for his sister and his younger brother. His arrogant and dominant father is introduced and the world of elementals is explored and what an incredibly fascinating world it is!
There is so much going on in this novel—I guarantee you will want to reread it just to rediscover the worlds this author unpacks. Goode’s mastery of the written word is in full force here; his power to turn simple phrases into descriptive goldmines is unprecedented. His fertile imagination is unleashed and the result is a sweeping saga of a tale that thrusts us into a fantasy land that leaves the reader wide eyed and simply delighted.
It is a fact that sequels that follow exceptional first books often leave the reader a bit wanting—not so here. Eye of the Storm is perhaps a finer, more intricately woven story than the first in the series. I highly recommend this novel to you. It is a five star read.