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Book Review: The Children of When (Book 2): Valleron by Jennifer Redmile

Book Review: The Children of When (Book 2): Valleron by Jennifer Redmile

It's Bonus Book Review Saturday, and I've got something for a slightly younger audience than I'm used to reading. It's the sequel to Children of When (Book 1): Florissa, which I reviewed last year. Though it's much more YA than I'd like, I still found it a great read.

The Children of When (Book 2): Valleron

Now that Leah, Raff, and Belle have reunited the pieces of the amulet, and fulfilled the prophecy for which they were born, peace has returned to Florisia. Then why is someone still trying to kill them? When the new Florisian Council asks them to use the amulet to open the veil to the other worlds, they realise freeing Florisia from the tyrannical rule of the evil kitsune, Tyranius was only the beginning of their destiny - saving the children of When. valleron-book-2 Armed with only their wits, the legendary amulet, and their Gifts, the teenagers must once again embark on a dangerous adventure into the unknown. And they thought turning fourteen was hard!

My Review: 4 Stars

I'm not a big YA reader, but I read the first part of this series last year and found it an enjoyable page-turner. By no means the next Maze Runner or Hunger Games, but a bit of light reading for me—probably something my younger teenagers would enjoy. This Book 2 continued on in that trend. A few of the things I disliked about Book 1 were improved in Book 2, and the story was a lot more complete, well-rounded, and "mature". There was less "we are good and they are bad", and it has much more realistic shades of grey. The characters also had fewer of the typical "flaws" that make many YA books a bit annoying to read. They were still fully human, but less annoyingly "teenager-ish". All in all, a fun book to read, and a great improvement over Book 1. Can't wait to see what happens in the next book.

Here's a Taste:

They had been flying for about an hour when a shudder ran through Midnight’s body. Belle reached out and touched his mind with her own. Why the shudder? Everything ok? I feel the presence of evil but am unable to locate its source. Belle looked around nervously, but the sky was clear of any other presence but theirs and their friends. I have located the source. Two creatures approach from the east. They appear to be cloaked by a powerful magic, but are of equine origin and thus visible to other equine creatures. Midnight sent an image of what he was seeing to Belle’s mind. Terror sliced through her at the sight of the horrendous creatures approaching. A pair of ugly, black, skeletal winged horses, their red eyes glowing like live coals, bore down on them. She looked back at Leah and Raff. She needed to tell them what was happening! Belle thought back to when they’d merged their minds and their Gifts in order to reunite the pieces of the amulet. They hadn’t tried to communicate that way since, never having the need before today. It was worth a try. She closed her eyes and reached out towards their minds. Midnight says monsters are approaching! They’re cloaked by magic so we can’t see them! Wow, I didn’t know we could do this. Did you just say monsters? Relief washed over her as she heard Raff’s response. What are they? And how are we supposed to know where they are? That was Leah; it had worked! She sent them the image of the beasts Midnight had showed her and felt both their minds reel with shock. Belle jumped as Lyricus’ voice entered her mind. Belle, ask Midnight how long we have until they are within striking distance. If we can close ranks, I can erect a protective field around the four of us, and when they hit it, we’ll know where they are. Belle was floored. Lyricus, how did you hear the message? The same way I heard the call in the Forever Forest. All elves are able to hear the call of the Mother Elf, and it seems you carry her blood. You opened the channel, and I merely responded. Belle ignored Lyricus’ reference to the Mother Elf, relieved he'd had been able to hear her as well. It would definitely make things a lot simpler with him knowing what was going on. Belle sent a message to Midnight. How long do we have until they’re within striking distance? They are approaching fast. Perhaps ten wing beats? She relayed this to Lyricus, who immediately slowed Fleet’s pace. Belle sent a message to Raff and Leah, explaining Lyricus’ plan and telling them they needed to nudge their horses closer. Raff replied first. I can have a fireball ready to release as soon as they touch the shield, but I’ll only be able to take them out one at a time. How quickly can you have the second one ready? I can send out a scream like I did with the spider in the cave, but it will only give you a few seconds. I don’t know. I’ve never tried sending them back to back. Raff sounded worried, which only made Belle more nervous. Leah’s voice interrupted them. What if I call on the wind to pin them against the shield? That may give Raff enough time to build the second weapon. Belle nodded. “Awesome Leah, let’s hope it works!” The four horses were nose to tail as a shield appeared around them like a shimmering wave. Another shudder ran through Midnight’s body. They are here!

About the Author:

Jennifer has always been an avid fantasy fiction reader, and always worked with children, so when she decided to write a novel, it was a natural progression to combine the two and make it a children’s fantasy novel. She is also working on two other Young Adult series, Morwitch and What Ghost? Jennifer lives in a remote Aboriginal community in outback Alice Springs, NT Australia with her husband and two puppy dogs. Find the book on Amazon: Connect with her on Facebook: