Books Completed: 76
Publication Date: June, 2008
Reason for Reading: Next Book in the Series.
Long ago, in the Second Age of history, a young Nain explorer by the name of Ven Polypheme traveled much of the known and unknown world, recording his adventures. Recently discovered by archaeologists, a few fragments of his original journals are reproduced in this book. Great care has been taken to reconstruct the parts of the journal that did not survive, so that a whole story can be told…I have to say, I am really enjoying this series so far! I knew that Elizabeth Haydon could write because I have read one of her adult novels, but that was a couple years ago now. It was nice to reenter one of her worlds and remember just how fun her books are! When we left Ven in the previous novel, he had just finished up some amazing adventures. He had a whole new life to begin exploring. Ven is a very curious soul. He is interested in everything new that he experiences and sees. As his very first assignment as the King's Royal Reporter he is sent to the Gated City. The Gated City used to be where they sent those that had committed crimes. Now, it is an enclosed part of the city that still is treated like everyone inside is criminals. In many ways, though, they are! Ven is warned to be careful once he walks in the gates because he is on his own then, and not even the king can save him.
On his first day on the job as Royal Reporter of the land of Serendair, King Vandemere sends young Charles Magnus Ven Polypheme—known as Ven—on a secret mission within the walls of the Gated City. His quest? To discover the origin of a mysterious artifact given to the king’s father. The king warns Ven to take care—because once you enter the Gated City, you might never be allowed to leave.
Within its walls, all sorts of exotic merchandise not found anywhere else in the world can be bought or sold. But not only merchandise. Dreams, wishes, memories…even childhood…can be sold—or stolen. The Gated City is ruled by the powerful Raven’s Guild, and the guild is ruled by the Queen of Thieves.
Ven and his friends enter the Gated City ready for adventure. But when one friend is kidnapped and it is revealed that they are traveling in the company of the runaway daughter of the Queen of Thieves herself, their adventure turns deadly. For the ruthless Thief Queen will stop at nothing to get her daughter back….
The Gated City is full of wonders. Ven is accompanied by all the friends that he had made in the previous novel. He has a specific mission, but he is also to experience new things for the King. The King loved to travel around and see things when he was a prince, but now that he has taken the throne he is restricted to the castle. I really enjoy the character of the King, though. He is like a boy caught in a man's world at times, but then we are reminded just how capable he is. He loves puzzles and it is wonderful to watch him piece together a mystery. I think this series would be almost as enjoyable if he was the main character. Ven can be the only one, though! Sometimes Ven can be annoying, but it fits his age. Generally he narrates his story well and is always up to wonderful new adventures. He is also very loyal to his friends, which is shown over and over again during the course of the book.
It really is a good series! I think it is a bit overshadowed, too, which is a shame! It is a bit of a different-type of young adult fantasy and I think it can be enjoyed by readers of all ages! I have the third book out from the library right now and I cannot wait to see what happens next! I have discovered a lot of good young adult series this year!