I really enjoyed Curtis’ first Wereworld novel, Rise of the Wolf, and I stick to what I said in that review – that Wereworld is akin to Game of Thrones for the younger generation. The scope of the unfolding story, the relationships of the characters, the testing of loyalties and the focus on character development all came together to make Rise of the Wolf one of the best YA novels I’d read. 🙂 I’m very pleased that Rage of Lions continues this trend!
Where Rise of the Wolf introduced us to many of the main players and personalities and took us on a journey that not only covered great distances but tested and tempered many characters, Rage of Lions is similar, but this novel also has a different feel to it – it is a much more focused tale, in terms of action and characters, and takes place over a shorter length of time; this focus really got me devouring the pages, from the moment when a lone rider escapes a city that is still reeling from a battle to when Drew Ferran… Well, not going to spoil you, you’ll have to read it! Point is, I just couldn’t put Rage of Lions down – the pace was relentless and the story was incredibly engaging!
I also enjoyed what Curtis did with the characters in Rage of Lions – the title suggests a focus on the Werelions that have been the cause of so much trouble and grief for Drew, and that’s what we get, in the form of Prince Lucas, son of the deposed and embattled Werelion King. We met Lucas in Rise of the Wolf but this book really shows another side of him – he is devious and intelligent and not someone I’d like to tangle with!
We also get chapters that flesh out and further build other characters, especially Hector and the Wolf’s Council – Hector delved into some dark magic in Rise of the Wolf and Curtis takes this further while also bringing in Hector’s brother, and my sympathies were definitely with Hector, what with everything he had to go through in the book! The Wolf’s Council was really well written – these are the guys that are actually running Drew’s kingdom (understandable, since Drew is not yet quite ready to do it) and how these characters dealt not only with each other but also with the onerous task of guiding both Drew and the kingdom was entertaining and gave the novel a cool and interesting political side.
Drew really impressed me in this book, too – he’s not the ready-made and always-willing hero that will rush in and save the day and the kingdom and get the girl; he’s a hothead, he’s young, he’s feeling quite overwhelmed by the events that had pushed him into the limelight, and he’s searching for a way to just survive without being consumed. He’s got plenty of growing and maturing to do, and I really like that – it implies that we’ll be on a real journey with him as he grows as a character and king.
Action-wise Rage of Lions isn’t as big as Rise of the Wolf was – as I said before, the focus is much tighter and it’s a different kind of story; the fight scenes in the novel are still exciting and brutal and trust me, no-one emerges unscathed! We also get to see more of Lyssia and meet more Werelords, building the cast of characters nicely, and I really enjoyed the Goatlord and Onyx. And even though the tale focuses on where the main characters are, geographically, plenty is still happening throughout Lyssia, so there’s a constant sense of movement and change. And boy does this novel end with a bang! Definitely one of the best now-I-HAVE-to-read-the-next-book endings I’ve come across!
All in all, while Rage of Lions is a different kind on=f novel to Rise of the Wolf in terms of action and character-focus (the scale of the action being smaller and the focus much tighter), Rage of Lions is a worthy sequel and an excellent book in it’s own right; Curtis is showing that he’s a versatile and supremely talented writer and storyteller, and I’m completely on board with this series – just have to make time to read Books 3 and 4!
I give Rage of Lions a well-deserved 8 / 10!
To order your copies of Rage of Lions, click here for Amazon UK, here for Amazon US, and here if you’re in South Africa. 🙂 Check out Curtis’ website and blog, and check out the Wereworld site – plenty of info and updated regularly! 🙂
Until next time,