When we left Anabar at the end of book one, he had successfully completed training to become a scout for his home country of Semdela. Book two picks up where Anabar’s Run leaves off. Anabar is given his first tasks. Initially, he guards a vital port city, then he is assigned a section of the border with Ricamareth, where tensions with that country are heating up. He makes plenty of mistakes, unintentionally calling attention to himself in several instances, which gains him the ire of his instructor. And then Anabar is captured and hauled off to a work camp in Ricamareth.
To his surprise, he finds a culture similar to his own and people as friendly and likable as the Semdelans. Then Anabar falls in love with Princess Astrida, daughter of the foreign king. Don’t worry, boys, the romance is very low-key, but it complicates things tremendously. As the two countries draw toward war, Anabar’s loyalties are pulled in many directions, and it becomes harder and harder for him to know what to do.
I like this second installment better than the first. The prose flows more easily, the plot thickens, and readers are forced to think on many different levels. What’s right? It’s often hard to tell in times of war. But through everything, Anabar keeps his honor, making him an incredibly easy character to rally behind. The story is full of adventure, and the message is one of conscience, integrity and peace. It’s a great choice for kids as young as eight.
Mr. Granger has a really cool website dedicated to the series that I think kids will enjoy.
Anabar Rises is available as an ebook only. Find it on Amazon.