The Eyes of a King by Catherine Banner
Five-year-old Cassius escaped the brutal assassination of his parents, the king and queen of Malonia, and was exiled to modern-day England. Now fifteen, Cassius continues to be hidden in England under the protection of his tutor, the great Alderbaran, who's ancient prophecy says that Cassius will, one day, return and claim his rightful place on the throne. At the same time, fifteen-year-old Leo remains in Malonia where a repressive dictatorial regime under the new king, Lucien, followed the assassination. One day Leo discovers a wonderful book in which parts of an epic story appear each day - a remarkable story that reveals the secrets of the prophecy, the assassination and how they are connected to Leo's own family history.
The Eyes of a King was published amidst massive media interest. It was the first book in a planned trilogy - with Voices in the Dark due in March 2010 being the second - and saw the then fourteen-year-old author unhelpfully labelled as the new JK Rowling. Although The Eyes of a King may not be one of the very best young adult fantasy books available it does however showcase a mightily impressive imagination that will ensure all who read it will continue to follow the young author’s future works with much interest.
The first two-hundred pages are rather difficult to get into. There are certainly glimpses of excellence there but there is too much that is either standard or convenient. There is also the spectre of Christian Fantasy hanging over proceedings and the concern that the author may be so desperate to get their message across that it will be to the detriment of telling a good story.
And then with half the book still to go Banner places two words, THE END, into the narrative and then followed fifty or so pages that were truly excellent; chapters dealing with events and emotions in a completely believable and upsetting way. This was the moment where it became apparent what exactly the author was capable of and what the major publishing companies have seen. Although the book did not again reach the heights it did conclude in a satisfying manner.
All in all The Eyes of a King is a real mixture, containing some good points and some bad.
The good points are the clever use of fonts to distinguish between differing narratives and the way in which Catherine Banner weaves these storylines together. The relationship between Leo and his little brother Stirling is touching, full of mutual love and a highlight of the book. This is an intricate book with the teenage characters behaving in an authentic way, it is also on occasions engaging.
The bad points are that the dialogue can sometimes be rather unrealistic and the narrative struggles to flow as a result. Although there are undoubtedly interesting ideas in there they never seem to be fully developed. The teenage angst is realistic enough but may be overbearing for some.
Considering her tender years Banner showed great maturity and life experience. Although this review may not be exactly overflowing with praise it must mentioned that there was something within this book that made it stand out from the crowd – the imagination of the author. Catherine Banner has shown that she is capable of something truly monumental and many who have read The Eyes of a King will read the next book, Voices in the Dark, hoping to find that the author’s skills have been further honed following her debut. Following Banner’s career could be an interesting and rewarding experience for many.
This The Eyes of a King book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: Last Descendants
The Eyes of a King
Last Descendants: Book 1
Five-year-old Cassius escaped the brutal assassination of his parents, the king and queen of Malonia, and was exiled to modern-day England. Now fifteen, Cassius continues t...
Voices in the Dark
Last Descendants: Book 2
Anselm Andros has always thought he had a normal life - confidante to his mother, Maria, confessor to his stepfather, Leo, a man haunted by the secrets of his past, and sup...
Have you read The Eyes of a King?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Eyes of a King reader reviews
Jay from Canada
I love it right from the beginning! Its just...wow, amazing :)
Kat from United States
I absotively posilutely luvd this book!
9.3/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The 10,000 Doors of January
Alix E Harrow
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut....
The Unspoken Name
A K Larkwood
A. K. Larkwood's The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about an orc priestess turned wizard's assassin.What if you knew how and when you wi...
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
When Colin and Susan are pursued by eerie creatures across Alderley Edge, they are saved by the Wizard. He takes them into the caves of Fundindelve, where he watches over t...
Unites Arthur, a little boy abandoned many years ago in a grim hospital in northern England, with Esther, a radiantly intelligent young girl who is suffering from cerebral ...
The Dark is Rising Sequence
On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is ...
Three Hearts and Three Lions
The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realm...
His name is West. Her name is Cally. They speak different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart, but they do not know that. What they do know...
The Abhorsen Chronicles
Who will guard the living when the dead arise? Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. Af...
The Chrestomanci Series
Diana Wynne Jones
Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth an...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: