If you have not yet read them then you may want to look away now.
Review: 'Wereworld: Rage of Lions' and 'Wereworld: Shadow of the Hawk', by Curtis Jobling
I loved the first two Wereworld books. The first was brilliant, and the second, Rage of Lions, even better. So much so that it made it into my list of top picks of I know that many others share my admiration for these books - so no pressure then Mr Jobling. Did I say pressure? The man must thrive on it as Shadow of the Hawk is yet another outstanding addition to the series, the only downside being that having finished I am now thoroughly annoyed that I won't be able to find out what happens next until the fourth book, Nest of Serpents, is published in June.
There is very little time in the story between the close of the last book, and where this one kicks off. Drew is held captive by the evil Kessler, a Weregoat who has made a name for himself as a slaver.
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He has only one plan for Drew - to deliver him to the Isle of Scoria and sell him as a slave. Meanwhile, his close friend Hector has managed to escape the armies of the Catlords, and is safely on board the Maelstrom, in the company of Manfred, Vega and Queen Amelie. I say safely, but that isn't strictly true - his dabbling in the dark arts is beginning to have quite an effect on the young Wereboar, but more about that later. In this new book we are granted the opportunity to 'meet' a whole host of new Werecreatures in this book, and Curtis Jobling maximises this treat for his readers by taking his characters off to different places, just as Tolkien did in The Lord of the Rings.
Shadow Of The Hawk by Curtis Jobling - Penguin Books Australia
These diverging story strands enabled Tolkien to show us more of the incredible world he created, and Curtis uses a smiliar device in this book. Therefore, we get to meet a plethora of new characters on Scoria, where the enslaved Drew is forced to become a gladiator; and we also get to see other parts of Lyssia and its seven realms, and its inhabitants, as Drew and his party head out across the ocean.
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Mr Jobling seems to manage all of these new additions to his story with consummate ease. Now that he is away from the friends he made in the first two books, we really get a chance to see how Drew grows as both a character, and as the rightful heir to the kingdom of Lyssia. Most young people would find this impossible to cope with, but the honest and loving upbringing that Drew experienced seems to have given him the foundations he needs to take all of this in his stride.
In the first two books there were many moments where he suffered extreme and totally understandable self-doubt, but there were a few key scenes where his natural gift for good and kind leadership shone through. In this third book these moments begin to occur a little more often and we are now really beginning to see the potential king that lies within the boy.
Drew also seems to be becoming more confident at leading, even to the point where he will lecture one of the realm's other kings about the evils of slavery. A king, it must be said, who could quite easily have Drew slapped in silver chains and executed for his disrespectful words. Whilst all this is going on, there is of course the other plot strand running - that of Hector and his companions. I am sorry to say that the future is looking fairly bleak for Hector - he is now firmly attached to the vile of his dead brother Vincent, a spectre that is invisible to all except Hector, and who never misses a chance to goad his brother, gradually eating away at his self-esteem.
It was a horribly fascinating experience to read as Hector slowly seems to descend into a kind of madness, the flames of his growing paranoia constantly fanned by Vincent's cruel taunts. Who knows where Curtis Jobling will take Hector next? Perhaps even betrayal of the people he called close friends? We will just have to wait and see. There are two popular characters from the first two books in the series that are conspicuous by their absence in Shadow of the Hawk. Gretchen and Whitley also managed to escape the grasping claws of the Catlords at the end of the last book, but for the story of their adventures since we will have to wait until June.
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About the Author. He lets them continue to the Barebones and on to Tor Raptor. Hector is slowly disappearing into the darkness that consumes him, becoming less and less trustworthy and more suspicious of others. He leads his friends to an island under false pretenses when he has other, nefarious purposes. When the captain of their ship goes missing, the others are certain Hector had something to do with it.
They decide to take a stand against him.
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And unknown to Drew, his brother Trent has joined the Lionsguard to hunt him. He still believes Drew killed their mother. He just wants revenge against his brother. A chance encounter with an aging Werelord takes everything he believed about Drew and dashes it to pieces. What if he was wrong? Allegiances will be tested and beliefs tried.
As the final battle for Lyssia draws closer, who, and what, they fight for is still to be seen.
It is so much fun. It is consistently filled with adventure, great story-telling, and memorable characters. It is definitely one worth investing time in. This book was wonderful. I loved all the new werelords. I find it clever how the three countries are all lorded, and inhabited largely, by specific species.
Omir has the Doglords, Bast the Catlords, and Lyssia everything else. I also really liked how we got to see more of the world. I can only imagine how much fun it was creating the world and everything in it. It really comes out in the story.
I also liked the expansion of the story to see how the Catlords have affected creatures from all over the world. There are many new characters introduced in this book, but only one main character: Trent Ferran. Despite wanting revenge, it is obvious he has some degree of honour.
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That is a very admirable trait.
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