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Brandon Mull's Beyonders Trilogy by Brandon Mull

Brandon Mull’s Beyonders Trilogy: A World Without Heroes; Seeds of Rebellion; Chasing the Prophecy
by Brandon Mull

For what they are, middle school age books, they do a good job of giving a story that is fairly complex and mature. Obviously, compared to adult books, they feel very naive and simple, but they aren’t really meant to be compared. It is a standard boy and girl get transported to another world and have to become its saviors, especially since no one in that world wants to stand up against the evil magical emperor Maldor, who has killed all the other wizards who might stand up to him. The books flow pretty well, although the second one felt kind of forgettable to me. Ironically, despite the first book being called a world without heroes, there are several characters that are heroic, almost too heroic. Prince Galloran feels like an old blind Aragorn who kept all his sword skills. Personally, I don’t really like it when someone, especially some kid, goes to another world and suddenly is declared to be its hero and everyone worships them, even though they don’t actually do much (Narnia, Thomas Covenant, etc). The main characters Jason and Rachel go to Lyria, full of magic and warriors, and immediately get sent on a quest to kill the emperor. It would be like some caveman being sent to our time and being enlisted in special ops with an emphasis in computer hacking. Rachel does eventually learn magic, but Jason proves fairly useless, aside from a few bright ideas. By the end, several characters die, but many of them are filler characters that barely get a eulogy when killed. In fact, many are drinlings, who have like a two year life span, so obviously if they die, its not important. It felt kind of callous, in a way. For some reason as well, I didn’t really connect with the characters and wasn’t that invested in them. And the ending didn’t feel as impossible as it was made out to be. But there were some good ideas, like the displacers who can be fully functional while severed from body parts, or the amar who have a seed on their neck and can get planted once they die, resulting in almost immortality. Anyway, if you like young adult fantasy, it is pretty good. If not, you might not become fully invested.

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