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Book review: 'The Last Enchanter' is full of danger, magic

THE LAST ENCHANTER: Book Two of the Celestine Chronicles," by Laurisa White Reyes, Tanglewood Press, $16.95, 401 pages (f) (ages 8-12)

It has been eight months since Marcus and Kelvin returned from their quest in Dokur to find the Rock of Ivanore. Now, Fredric, ruler of Dokur, is murdered and Kelvin becomes king, being advised by a scheming Chancellor Prost. Marcus and Kyll, Enchanter and grandfather to both boys, travel to Dokur to protect the new heir because it’s obvious that he is being controlled by evil means. They are joined by Clovis and Lael, Marcus’ friends, who help in uncovering the secrets of Ivanore.

Their discoveries set off a new adventure, hopefully fulfilling the mystery of Marcus’ and Kelvin’s legacy and the whereabouts of Ivanore.

As in the previous book of the series, “The Rock of Ivanore,” danger lurks in clashes between cultures, especially when Prost refuses to allow the Agorans to return to their homeland as had been promised. Wars are eminent and trusts are broken.

Marcus refuses to assist in conflicts using his magic. (“I’m afraid of what magic does to me! … The pain is unbearable! I can’t.”) But when Zyll is fatally wounded and transfers his bodily powers to Marcus, things take on a new light. The Enchanter is no more, but Marcus is now a seer, his abilities coming from the hands of his teacher and master.

Reyes’ second novel in this highly pitched adventure keeps the action alive while skillfully disclosing the backstory in short chapters, crisp dialogue and cliffhangers. “The Last Enchanter” could stand alone, but it is highly recommended to read the two books in order.

Past characters have carried through, though sometimes with body shifts such as the irascible walking stick, Xerces, that morphs into a helpful crow and Byrn the groc who takes on the personage of a small defenseless boy. A magnificent gryphon is an exciting new character that will likely add much to the third Celestine Chronicles, “The Seer of the Guilde” which is due in early 2015.