The Prince Jionathan is plagued by visions of death. With the King on his death-bed, and the tyrannical Queen in power, the Kingdom of Harmatia lies in peril. Fleeing the city in fear of his life, Jionathan is shadowed by Rufus Merle, a young, secretive magi tasked with bringing him home. Now, with the help of a fearsome sidhe warrior named Fae, they must traverse a dangerous faerie-wood together. Against bandits, faeries and cursed priestesses, these unlikely friends travel a path fraught with danger, not least from the blood-thirsty Night Patrol and the dark conspiracy that shrouds them.
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The Sons of Thestian based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite The Sons of Thestian (The Harmatia Cycle) (Volume 1) by M.E. Vaughan is a young adult fantasy that starts with a dying king, a ruthless and plotting queen, dangerous wizards, and a prince on the run. With King Thestian on his death bed, Prince Jionathan flees the kingdom of Harmatia. He fears for his life, certain Queen Reine and the Night Patrol, her group of shape-shifting Magi, will murder him like the hundreds of other innocent people they've murdered under the pretense of safety within the city. Jionathan is followed by Rufus Merle, a magi with the secret task of bringing him home. He and the fearsome warrior Fae traverse a dangerous faerie-wood together, fighting against bandits, faeries and cursed priestesses. But their ultimate enemy is the blood-thirsty Night Patrol and the dark conspiracy that covers them. When Jionathan ran away, he didn't know whether it was away from his destiny or toward it. This novel is so much more than a classic hero's quest, as it contains double and triple crosses and so many twists it is often hard for the reader to know who to trust and who to root against. Although this story contains many pages and is a committed read, it is well worth the journey. Readers who commit to this story will love the action, adventure, and mystery that these many pages offer. The story details, description, and world building are so incredible that readers will not be disappointed and will find that they have come to the end of the story much faster than they ever anticipated.
In the same way that a musician absorbs and reconfigures the influences of other players and bands, The Sons of Thestian synthesizes a wide array of influences from Medieval Arthurian legend and Celtic folklore to more recent classics of the fantasy genre such as The Lord of the Rings and the Game of Thrones and Harry Potter series. As the first novel in Vaughan’s Harmatia Cycle, this novel begins a saga that has the same degree of scope and resonance as so many that have come before it, but Vaughan’s own alchemy integrates her influences into a result that feels completely fresh and also serves as a reminder of why a fantasy epic can inspire such devotion in readers. The most enduring examples of the genre create a world so rich with imagery that you don’t want to leave, a cast of characters so textured and engaging that they begin to feel like old friends. In building the world of Mag Mell and by giving us such layered characters as Prince Jionathan (pronounced Yo-nat-han), Rufus the Magi, Fae the Sidhe, and a host of others, Vaughan has created an epic that is endlessly absorbing, even addictive. The plot unfolds with a dying king, a plotting queen, dangerous wizards, and a prince on the run—either away from his destiny or toward it. As King Thestian lies on his death bed, the young Prince Jionathan flees the city and kingdom of Harmatia, fearful of the king’s first wife Queen Reine and the machinations of a group of rogue shape-shifting Magi known as the Night Patrol, who justify murder under the guise of keeping the city streets safe. The prince also carries with him the heavy burden of the assassination of his older brother, Sverrin (pronounced Suh-ver-in), the former heir to the throne. The king and queen, along with Jionathan’s mother Eliane, send Rufus, a young Magi with heavy burdens of his own, to find the prince and bring him home. Rufus easily catches up with Jionathan in the forest beyond the city, and he and the prince forge a close but uneasy bond as the pair tumble from one dire circumstance to the next. While on the surface, the novel appears to be a classic hero’s quest, but the series of double-crosses, triple-crosses, and twists make it difficult to pin down exactly who the heroes and who the villains truly are, breathing new life into the standard quest narrative. Even with the vast scope, and high page count, the book is tightly written—chock full of gripping battles and action sequences, quiet romantic moments, and dangerous confrontations with fearsome creatures. The pacing of the action is quick and no detail is insignificant, building to a conclusion that will leave the reader breathless and wanting more.