As Edwyrd Eska approaches his two-hundredth year as Guardian of the Core, he must find an apprentice to train under him. His title and role compel him to safeguard and govern his universe, Gladonus, as each Guardian before him has done and those after him shall continue to do until relieved of such duties by will of the Ancients. Prince Hydro Paen, Eirek Mourse, and Zain Berrese—amongst other contestants—receive invitations to compete in a quest of Trials intended to determine who will become Eska’s apprentice. An old adage goes: “the toughest trials test you truest” – and these events challenge their fortitude through tenuous partnerships, intellectual rivalries, and battles of weapons’ mastery. Along the way, each contestant must attempt to overcome personal demons that haunt them. In this tale of ideal dreams and lucid aspirations, these competitors find theirs threatened by deceit, betrayal, sabotage—and even flesh—as all become vital to success.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, this has not changed my opinion in any way.
Edwyrd Eska has been the Guardian of the Core for almost two hundred years, so it’s time to find an apprentice who will become the new Guardian when time comes. Out of thousands of contestants, he selects only eight who will compete in a series of trials. Prince Hydro Paen, Eirek Mourse and Zain Berrese are among those chosen eight. We follow them and the other contestants as they are tested for their partnership, their skill, their inteligence, and their indurance.
I was lucky to receive this book from the author, thanks to Wendy from Wensend.com. So a big thank you to both Michael E. Thies and Wendy for making this possible! Of course this has not changed my opinion on the book in any way! I was immediately intrigued by the summary, because these are the kind of stories I love. I loved Lord of the Rings, I loved Harry Potter (the trials reminded me of the Triwizard Tournament), and I enjoyed Game of Thrones. So of course I had to read the Trials of the Core.
I have to admit, it took me a while to finish the story. Honestly, I thought the beginning was a bit slow. Of course, you need to get introduced to the main characters, but me being an action person, I just couldn’t get through the first couple of chapters easily. Luckily, after a while, when the Trials started, it got much easier to finish the story.
First of all, I loved that though this story had a very medieval look/feel to it, it was actually a bit more modern (or more futuristic) than you’d think. There were hovercrafts, spaceships, all kinds of amazing science fiction technology; yes, it was amazing, my two favourite genres, fantasy and sci-fi! There was also a map at the beginning of the book, which I love, I love it when authors make maps of the fictional worlds they create, so I can imagine the world even better myself.
Though I normally don’t like different point of views in a story, especially not if there are a lot (*cough* game of thrones *cough*), I kind of liked it in this book, after I realised that the little images above the chapter title were the sigils of the character whose chapter it was. Also, it was kind of needed to tell the story properly, to be able to see through all the contestants’ minds, how they got through the trials and so forth. I especially liked reading Zain and Eirek’s chapters, because they were the two contestants I was actually rooting for. At the beginning I kind of liked Hydro, sympathized with him because of his mother, but as soon as he arrived at the Core, he turned into Draco Malfoy, looking down on everyone who wasn’t a prince as well, refusing to call others by their name (by calling them ‘The Garian’, ‘The Commoner’); all my sympathy for him disappeared immediately. Ugh.
I really liked the trials, they made me think of the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter a bit, but that made me like them even more.
There were only a couple of things I didn’t like about this story. The written accents. Though of course, that points out that people are from different countries, different regions than other characters, I just found it difficult to read what Gabrielle had said sometimes. A lot of times, when she spoke, I had to reread the sentences twice before I knew what she’d said. In the end, I kind of got used to it, but it’s still not one of my favourite things, written accents.
Also, the slow beginning was what made me put down this book at first. Though I really wanted to finish and like the story, I wasn’t sure if I would like the rest if it would be like the first chapters. Luckily, the rest of the book made up for it.
In the end, I really enjoyed The Trials of the Core, and I will definitely recommend this book to people who’ve enjoyed Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings! And just to anyone who loves a good Sci-Fi/Fantasy story! And I will definitely continue reading this series, because I just want to know how it goes on!