10-year-old Soren is the prince of Alcherys, a land that has been at war for hundreds of years. One day, he will lead his people into battle against the evil kingdom of Meraxor and their deadly leader—Vincent Wilder.
Soren should be training to become a soldier, but he is more interested in causing trouble with his trusty fox cub, Dash. When one of Soren and Dash’s mischievous adventures goes wrong, they unleash a deadly virus. It appears that an age-old prophecy is finally coming to pass, and Soren and his family must take a perilous journey deep into their enemy's land. Can Soren fulfill his destiny or will the virus destroy him first?
The characters are well-set, my favourites being Dash and Callista, and there are plenty of magical events and creatures to satisfy a teen fantasy fan (even some honouring the author's commendable writing influences, I dare say). The descriptions are clearly laid out but not burdening the story, the suspense really written with feeling, rhythm and even a tease; ending chapters on a cliffhanger gets you moving immediately to "just one more chapter". Having also read this author's Phoenix Project, it is obvious that D. M. Cain has a natural knack of vividly describing action scenes, especially hand-to-hand duels. The language is excellent, not over-simplified for children but just enough of a challenge.
My favourite part of the book (except for Dash:) is how the author depicts the (royal) family - with past trauma behind them, and the fears of the oncoming prophecy, they are still that imperfectly perfect family of different kids, a moody dad and a slightly controlling mother.
I am glad the story has many possibilities for a sequel, as it is obvious Soren will soon have his followers, the rebel with a (special) heart that he is.
Soren reminded me of every kid, he has good intentions but sometimes we get into trouble even when we are not trying to. I liked him a lot in the story. It was a book that made me smile. I know other kids will enjoy it as much as I did.
I'm not sure what kept it from being a Gold bookworm for me, but it came really close.
My favorite character was Soren because of his fun and mischievous personality. My favorite part was when Soren was acting like a jester and making silly walks and voices.
I would recommend this to my friends because it's a fun book. It made me laugh.