Thursday 31 October 2013

The Jeweller of Rassylon

The Jeweller of Rassylon by Peter Cooper (Omnibus Books)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 978-1-86291-944-0
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Dillen and his companions Koto and Tajni are searching for the hideout of brigand-lord Zhangfu after he escaped with the precious Blue Jade. Many others also search, including Heito with the emperor’s army, but the three companions feel confident as they have the help of the Demon of the North. However, when they finally get an audience with him, they are given only riddles and challenges.

Riddles and challenges rise up to block the hero’s journey the whole way through this tale but Dillen and his friends are willing to face any task, physical, mental or magical, and risk their lives, to get to Zhangfu first.

The Jeweller of Rassylon is the gripping conclusion to the Tales of Blue Jade trilogy. Having not read the previous two books in the series I was surprised at how quickly I became immersed in the rich and well mapped fantasy world of Pangaea. Dillen had my interest and sympathy from the beginning and was a likable character. His companions were interesting and the unsettled, rocky nature of the relationship between the three was intriguing, adding to the compelling suspense and mystery surrounding the motivations of all involved.

But what kept me most engrossed was the Chinese and Japanese mythology, the magic, the spirits, the wonderful wind walker and the eerie atmosphere which is woven throughout the tale. They give the story a great depth and freshness.

This is a well constructed fantasy, drawing inspiration - breathing life - from the spirits and mythology of ancient Asia. It is, as well, a fast-paced action adventure quest. An exciting series for ten to fifteen year olds.

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