Saturday, June 16, 2007

Review: _The Borderkind_ by Christopher Golden

The Veil separates the human world from the legendary. Sometimes humans slip through, lost forever to the human world. Many long to go home and await a savior to help them get back. One group of mythic creatures can cross the Veil at will, living in the two worlds, but they are being hunted down and killed. Christopher Golden continues the story of these two worlds with the second book of the “Veil” series called The Borderkind. This book is a suspenseful addition to the series due to its setting, characters and plot.

In the book, the setting of the Veil is vivid helping to keep the book suspenseful. Readers follow characters in the world of the Veil. The world is split into two kingdoms, Euphrasia and Yucatazaca, separated from the human world by the magical Veil, a magic border that is difficult to cross. Legendary creatures of myth live in the other world where magic exists. The two realms are ruled by humans. There is a mysterious third race of Atlanteans, powerful warriors or mages who act as advisors to the kings. Mr. Golden uses the setting to increase the suspense of the novel by contrasting the two worlds and their dangers.

Next, the suspense is increased by the portrayal of realistic characters. Oliver Bascombe grows more in this book. He faces more challenges, torn between saving his sister and helping his Borderkind friends. Oliver has pressure added with a price on his head. Collette Bascome deals with imprisonment and avoiding slipping into madness. Julianna, Oliver’s fiancĂ©, fights against the fact she cannot go back home. The Borderkind are interesting characters too. Jack Frost is a creature of winter, deadly and unpredictable. Kitsune has a fascinating dual personality between a woman and fox. The author brings the characters to life by making them realistic, which makes the book more suspenseful by inducing readers to care for the characters.

Finally the author creates a suspenseful book through an action plot. The book starts with Oliver and his companions seeking temporary refuge at Twillig’s Gorge. A Borderkind betrays his group at the sanctuary and adds a new mystery to Oliver’s life. There is a prophecy among the lost humans that a half human and half legendary born person will tear down the Veil, reuniting the two worlds so the lost humans can go home. Oliver has no idea what the prophecy means, but splits up with his companions to go rescue his sister from the vicious Sandman. Julianne, Oliver’s fiancĂ©, tries to catch up with him while Collette suffers torture from the sandman. The plot leads to a cliffhanger ending to set up the next book in the series. Mr. Golden weaves a tight plot with a lot of action and few lulls in the story.

The Borderkind by Christopher Golden is the second book of the “Veil” series. Setting, characters and plot blend together to crate a suspenseful novel that keeps readers hooked. Mr. Golden writes a gripping, interesting story of two worlds with mythical creatures and growing heroic characters. Waiting for the next book in the series will be hard.

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