The Rock of Ivanore (Celestine Chronicles, #1)by Laurisa White Reyes

Published May 15th 2012 by Tanglewood

4.5 Stars

Synopsis: The annual Great Quest is about to be announced in Quendel, a task that will determine the future of Marcus and the other boys from the village who are coming of age. The wizard Zyll commands them to find the Rock of Ivanore, but he doesn’t tell them what the Rock is exactly or where it can be found. Marcus must reach deep within himself to develop new powers of magic and find the strength to survive the wild lands and fierce enemies he encounters as he searches for the illusive Rock. If he succeeds, he will live a life of honor; if he fails, he will live a life of menial labor in shame. With more twists and turns than a labyrinth, and a story in which nothing is at it seems, this tale of deception and discovery keeps readers in suspense until the end.

Middle readers will find that The Rock of Ivanore fits nicely among the traditional fantasies they so enjoy. They will also appreciate its fresh and inventive take on the genre.

My Review: The Rock of Ivanore by Laurisa White Reyes is the first book in the Celestine Chronicles. I began reading this fantasy book thinking it was for middle grade students, but soon realized that anyone including adults would enjoy this story. Marcus is an orphan in Quendel, a small town on an island. He is raised by the elderly enchanter Zyll as his apprentice. When the boys in Qendel are in their 15th year, they must go on a quest. This year’s quest is announced and Marcus is going to accompany the boys. Their assignment is to find and return with “The Rock of Ivanore”. The boys set off not knowing what the Rock is or where it can be found. Marcus and the other boys must forge a friendship and trust of one another if they want to be successful in their quest. Marcus must reach deep within himself to develop his powers of magic and find the strength to survive the wild lands and fierce enemies he encounters as he searches for the Rock. If he succeeds, he will live a life of honor; if he fails, he will live a life of shame performing manual labour. The plot of this book has many twists and turns. There are highs and lows, deception, cruelties and friendships forged. I though I had it all figured out and was confused several times.

This story is a fantasy quest with dragons, magic, monsters, heroes, villians, slaves, gems, friendships and battles. The characters are as varied as they are familiar. There is the hero (Jayson), the orphan (Marcus), the friend (Kelvin), the monsters (cyclops, Bryn: a Groc), the wizard (Zyll), the slaves (the agorans), the exiled angry offspring (Arik) and more. They all bring different characteristics, emotions and strengths to the story.

I am looking forward to reading the second in this series to see what is up next for Marcus and his friends. I recommend this book to public, school, class and family libraries.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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