Book Review: ‘Land of Elyon’

   Posted by: Faith   in Tasty Tomes

The Land of Elyon Book 2: Beyond the Valley of Thorns – Patrick Carman
The Land of Elyon Book 3: The Tenth City – Patrick Carman
The Land of Elyon Prequel/Book 4: Into the Mist – Patrick Carman (all Children’s Fiction)

Several years have passed since I read the first book in this series, and for whatever reason at the time, I never got around to reading the rest of the books… which made absolutely no sense, since I loved the first book. Last week, I made up my mind to just go for it and “git ‘er done”. Well, I still have one book to go, but in the meantime, what were these three like?

I have to say, I truly believe Patrick Carman is one of the new masters of worldbuilding. After recently reading the first two books in his Atherton series for older readers, and then coming back to this series, it’s clear to see that Carman has a gift for creating unique worlds that make sense. He weaves geography, cultural differences, politics, and economics into his worlds, which is quite the feat, considering the age level these books are targeted toward and the shorter length of his books (compared to, say, other children’s fantasies).

The main character of this series is a young girl – twelve or thirteen, I believe – and I was surprised how well this male author portrayed a girl of this age! Then I learned that he has two daughters of his own, and it made sense. He writes strong female leads who are true to their age.

And as for the story itself? The first three books in the series continue along the same path, though books two and three are more directly linked (ie. don’t finish book two without book 3 in hand!) and keep the action continually moving. The fourth book, or the prequel, can be read separately from the rest of the series… however, reading it fourth sets the stage for the fifth book (technically book 4 in the series, but I count the prequel as book 4 because it comes between 3 and 4 (er, 5) chronologically but not really… confused yet?). The prequel features the main characters from the previous books as they listen to the main thread of the book, which is told in the form of a story being related from memory by one of the characters. The final page in the prequel/not-a-prequel ends the storytelling and the main characters have arrived at their destination to begin the next book. Make sense?

Final verdict: read the books in the order they were written. 1,2,3,Prequel/4, Real book 4. They’re short, exciting, fun, and very well done. Highly recommended!

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This entry was posted on Friday, October 9th, 2009 at 3:59 pm and is filed under Tasty Tomes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One comment


I don’t read fantasy much anymore, but these sound pretty good. Great review!

October 10th, 2009 at 2:17 pm