The Ruby Knight by David Eddings (The Elenium: Book 2)

This is the second book in 'The Elenium', it is advisable to read 'The Diamond Throne' first but not completely necessary. There is a little prologue that briefly states what happens in the previous book.

Sparhawk continues his quest for the cure for the Queen. In this novel, he actually knows what he has to find and is determined to achieve his goal. It involves ruby rings, hence the title.

Whereas the first novel was a mixture of styles, this is a like a road movie. The quest nature of this book could have become boring and predictable. There are enough twists to keep even the most seasoned fantasy reader guessing. Four church knights, each with a different temperament do not always get on. There is more of a sense of fun in this second volume, even though they are always in danger. The character of Talen, a boy thief comes into his own and wise cracks his way throughout the quest. He becomes the readers' voice, and asks those questions about the plot that we desperately want to know. This does not mean that Eddings talks down to his audience, just that he's taken a well known literary device and has a lot of fun with it.

David Eddings introduces different believable cultures quite quickly. His descriptions of the changing landscapes are beautiful. In complete contrast, the gory parts make the reader wince and scenes stay in the mind long after putting the book down. Though these just go to emphasise how evil a foe the church knights are up against.

Make sure that the third novel is on hand, as the story does not have a satisfactory ending. The cliffhanger has obviously been used again to make sure the reader carries on. This is not a bad thing when the writing is of this high a quality.

9/10 Whereas the first novel was a mixture of styles, this is a like a road movie.

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