Saturday, December 10, 2011

Clockwork Prince

I just started the second Infernal Devices book - The Clockwork Prince yesterday night at Barnes and Noble. I got about 120 pages in. I think the thing that stands out to me most at this point is just how similar it is to The Mortal Instruments books. Really, I feel like it is the same story with different characters - girl who doesn't know anything about Shadowhunters thrown into the Shadowhunter world. Boy who is irresistible, but mean. Another boy, another girl. Even the whole I-can't-love-her-because-it-will-destroy-her theme is present.

Oh well, I'm still sucked in.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 2: Corus the Champion

Corus the Champion is the story of second sons. While the story continues the tale of all the Barlow brothers, it focuses on Ewan and Corus himself. Their stories highlight the difference between surrendering something that is not yours to give in order to get something that you want, and sacrificing something precious of your own in order to save others.

Corus was a mighty warrior. It was his duty to help protect the Hidden Lands. It was his fate to search for the sleeping king. Then he was seduced by Nemesia and would have given her the secret of the Pillar Map. To keep him from this Sorge tricked him, gave him to the Fey, who later gave him to the evil Kr'Nunos. Corus was kept prisoner, tortured and taunted, kept from his duty and his fate. He prayed and wished for freedom, but when at last it is given to him, he can't bring himself to take it because of the shame of what he did. His shame strips him of his ability to do what he was meant to do. His past failures keep him from doing what he was meant to do.

In contrast to his actions are the actions of so many others who sacrifice themselves to save him. There is Barsonici who truly understands "Light brings freedom. Hope is vision. Vision is light." He sacrifices himself to allow Sorge to escape from Hel with Corus. There are the Bird Men who sacrifice themselves to fly Corus to safety.

And there is Ewan, who sacrifices his gift of Song in order to save his friends and discover what happened to Corus. Ewan gives his gift to the Queen of the Fey, leaving him empty, stripped of his ability to play music. But it is this sacrifice that allows him to fulfill the destiny that Corus should have had, to find Artorius and wake him up.

While Corus rouses himself by the end of the story, it is still unclear what his intentions are regarding the king. On the other hand, while Ewan is still suffering because of the loss of his gift, he is the true champion of the story.

Corus the Champion

Corus the Champion is a great second book. D. Barkley Briggs continues the story effortlessly from the first book, and it grows deeper and more complex with each chapter.

The two younger Barlows join their older brothers and begin to play their parts in the saving of the Hidden Lands. This allows the reader to experience events in four different locations, as the point of view switches between the different brothers.

One of the best parts of this story is its use of Arthurian legend. Garrett Barlow journeys with Merlin himself (who happens to be from the Hidden Lands), moving between worlds and times, meeting Gwenhwyfar, and watching Tal Yssen send Artorius to the queen of the fairies in the Hidden Lands in order to save him.

While the story follows all four of the brothers, this book seems to focus mostly on Ewan, who is a second son, just as Corus is. One of the most poignant moments in the book is when Ewan sacrifices his gift of Song to save his friends.

This story was a fantastic read that kept me intrigued and wanting to know more.

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

To read more reviews, visit these sites:

Gillian Adams
Noah Arsenault
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
Carol Bruce Collett
Theresa Dunlap
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Sarah Sawyer
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White