The Keya Quests: The Battle for Shivenridge
Outskirts Press (2011)
Reviewed by Tracey Rock for Reader Views (9/11)
In this second installment of “The Keya Quests,” the battle with Lord Randar has just ended. Keya, along with Orren, Julie, Grant and Travis have made their way through the portal into Keya’s realm. Many of the villagers are startled at the sight of the undead soldiers walking through Shivenridge, so they are leery of Keya’s claim of freedom and the wielder of the Black Sword who commands the soldiers. They welcome Keya, but with a watchful eye. Knowing this, Orren tells Keya that it is best that they not tell the people of Shivenridge who she really is until they know she can live there safely without harm. Keeping his promise to Keya’s mother, Orren gives Keya a book for her birthday. It is an ancient book of her people. As keeper of the book and successor of the throne, Keya is destined to fulfill the prophecy and free her people. Since she grew up in hiding, Keya had no training and had very little skills of being morthos fairy. She finds help in learning about her people in some unlikely new ways.
As Keya and her friends try to fit in to gain the trust of the people of Shivenridge, Neil Foster, Lord Randar’s lieutenant is plotting to take back Shivenridge and capture the Black Sword. Knowing that the people of Shivenridge have an uneasy feeling about Keya, they use this weakness to turn the people Shivenridge against them, leaving them vulnerable for an attack. Keya now must try to use all of her powers to defeat Foster and gain the trust and respect of the people of Shivenridge – or die trying.
In “The Keya Quest: The Battle for Shivenridge,” I liked how the storyline picked up exactly where the first book left off. I was glad to see Keya as a much stronger character, yet at the same time, sad that Orren’s character was minor by comparison in this book, since he had a much larger role in the first book. The book introduces some predictable new characters, which may have more prominent roles in the future, I hope. Grant and Jenny’s characters are surprisingly the most notable; while Julie’s loveable character in the first book seems to turn a bit too motherly and dull. I feel that the storyline seemed almost inevitable given the nature of the first book. The author does provide the reader with some history of Keya’s people, but if you really just like the story itself, I don’t know if it really matters about her history. The characters and storyline can stand up without this, just as the first book did. Readers will more than likely want to continue to follow Keya and her circle of friends as the adventures were non-stop throughout the book. “The Keya Quest: The Battle for Shivenridge” is all to be expected from a sequel, although light on storyline, but fun to read all the same.