By Brandon Mull
Cole Randolph never meant to come to the Outskirts, but when his friends were kidnapped on Halloween he had to try to save them. Now he’s trapped in a world that lies between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. Cole’s hunt for his lost friends has led him to the kingdom of Elloweer. Accompanied by new friends Mira, Twitch, and Jace, Cole teams up with the resistance movement and joins the search for Mira’s sister Honor.
But Elloweer has grown unstable. A mysterious enemy is wiping out towns, leaving no witnesses or survivors. And an infamous rebel known throughout the kingdom as the Rogue Knight is upsetting the balance of power. With enemies in pursuit, Cole and Mira must resort to a fascinating new kind of magic to protect themselves. Every move is filled with danger as Cole and his friends try to outwit the High King, who will stop at nothing to regain what he has lost.
The second installment is here, and I’m embarrassed to admit it took me until the third book was out to finally get to reading this. I read the first one the week it came out! Anywho, this second book was quite fun, as all of Brandon Mull’s books are. The adventure and shenanigans are top-notch. I particularly enjoyed the Half-Knight’s character. We are introduced to a few new characters that we know are important and I’m intrigued to find out what is going on in the outskirts. I can’t help but compare this series to Beyonders and I wonder if Mull will work it out that Cole will make it home or have to sacrifice and stay. Similar themes, but like with Beyonders Mull pulls out the rug from you in subtle ways just when you’re sure you have it figured out. That’s what I like. Not a huge pull-the-wool-over-your-eyes, but he gives just enough of a twist to leave me grinning and shaking my head at the sheer awesomeness of the surprise. Hold on to your seatbelts, the surprises are just starting. (I know because I’ve read the third one now too!)
I give it a 4 out of 5