Five Kingdoms Series – Book 4: Death Weavers – By Brandon Mull

Jared,

This review has been pushed back so many times. There’s just so much that takes priority. Plus, this has been out for months already and the next one isn’t expected until the Fall of 2017. Regardless, I wanted to get it written while it was still fresh in my mind. Sadly I’m still having trouble writing this. How much do I reveal? What is or isn’t considered a spoiler when the first book being reviewed is the 4th in the series? The moral dilemma only a book lover can experience.

death-weavers.jpgTitle: Death Weavers
Series: Five Kingdoms; Book 4
Author: Brandon Mull
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Youth/Teen
ROTS Setting: EU, Higher Magic
Synopsis: Cole is still on the run. His search for Destiny, Mira’s sister, has taken him and his friends to Necronum, one of the five kingdoms in The Outskirts. But Necronum is home to the Weavers, they interact with the dead. Will he survive or will his journey take him to the afterlife?
Recommendation: Go read the other 3 first. They are an easy read, perfect for an intermediate reader/pre-teen/early teen.

– – Mild Spoilers – –

This is the 4th book in the series. There may be spoilers about the previous 3 books. Do not read further if you want to stay completely surprised. I will say that the series is well done for its audience and that I recommend it.If you want the other books reviewed, let me know in the comments. You should leave now……..Have you left yet?……..How about now?…….Why are you still here?! Fine. Stay, but you do so at your own risk.

There’s something simplistic and amazing about this series. It’s not super deep or complicated but it is deep and complicated enough that it allows for a pleasant, easy read. For me, it sits right in the middle of the transition from children’s novel and teen novel. Not overly simplified but still simple. And not overly complex, but still has many complexities.

First of all, the world is masterfully crafted. The Outskirts are a plane of existence between places. It takes magic or “shaping” to get there and once there you can’t leave without it pulling you back within a short time. On top of that those from our world/reality who go to the Outskirts are forgotten completely even by their own family, as if they never existed.

The Outskirts are divided into 5 main regions. Each region has its own magic or shaping as they call it. So far each of the 4 books released has taken place in a different region and the fifth book would appear to take place in the 5th region. Basically in every book you get to learn about a new magic system! It’s kept things interesting and provides a nice natural progression.

In Death Weavers, it takes place almost entirely in the region, Necronum. The shapers are called weavers and they primarily interact with echos/spirits/ghosts because in Necronum echos can interact with us mortals. We also learn a lot about how The Outskirts were made and how it’s connected to other places. It should also be noted that Brandon Mull’s Beyonders series takes place in the same universe as this one. Which is another series that was pretty good.

So far the books have followed Cole Randolph, a 12 year old boy from Arizona. When his friends are kidnapped and taken to The Outskirts, Cole bravely/foolishly follows in a vain attempt to save them. Now stuck and subsequently sold into slavery he must somehow escape his new owners, find his friends and make it back home. But their families have already forgotten them, and they’ll just get pulled back to The Outskirts. If that doesn’t sound bad enough the High Shaper (king) has been up to no good, including stealing his daughters shaping powers. And there is a mysterious entity threatening to break free of its thousands of years old prison who would completely destroy The Outskirts or enslave everyone…..which would be way worse.

See, I told you there could be spoilers.

Cole, himself, is only mildly annoying…..which is fairly high praise coming from me. He is a complete person, so while I might not like him he isn’t a burden to read. In fact, I’m actually impressed with how he’s been written. Four books in I can see that he was a person from the beginning and as time has gone on we discover why he is how he is and why that is important to the story. Plus, the friends he makes along the way are pretty good too. Most feel real, although some just feel like names on a page.

The series plot has been pretty good so far. As I’ve already said it isn’t super complex but it has been an enjoyable read. This particular book’s plot is a little bit slow, but it’s mostly the nature of Necronum and the specific peculiarities that need to be overcome.

All-in-all it is a pretty good book in a an easy to read series. I’m eager to read the next and likely last book in the series so I know how it all ends. Mr. Mull indicated in the back of this book that we should expect it sometime Fall 2017. So a year away. Not ideal but doable. In the meantime his new series is set to come out this Spring. It’s supposed to be a sequel series to Fablehaven and from the blurbs I’ve been reading it should feature the same main characters. Maybe I can sneak in a review of at least the first book in the Fablehaven series before the new book is released. But I don’t know if I’ll have time.

Anyway, that’s it for this review.

Robert


 

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Five Kingdoms Series – Book 4: Death Weavers – By Brandon Mull

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