Once again Kaza has artfully woven strands of world mythology from the ancients into the new and ever so intriguing story of Erec and his friends, foes and champions. The mythical stories she has borrowed from are recognizable yet have been adapted to the worlds and people of the Kingdoms of the Keepers and those of Upper Earth, both old and new, so that a reader merely sees them as tools in propelling her plot and understanding the parallels between the two sets of stories merely brings an added richness and depth to the plot and characters presented to the reader.
Erec returns to the Kingdoms of the Keepers in book 2 in order to prevent the bullying Stain brothers from acquiring the scepters for villainous Baskania’s use and purposes. While he is understandably concerned about the effect of acquiring the scepter himself, he hopes that his craving for the power it carries will not corrupt his desire for the Kingdoms to have someone looking out for their best interest instead of his or her own.
In order to claim the scepter himself and become ruler of one of the Kingdoms, Erec must successfully complete a series of quests or tasks that will be set before him as he completes the previous one. Not only are the Stain brothers and Baskania conniving against him they are manipulating the people to believe Erec is their enemy and an impostor.
Who will finally overcome the obstacles presented in the quests, can Erec complete these tasks satisfactorily or will the Stain brothers and Baskania find a way to take what was never rightfully theirs for reasons that are selfish, will Erec’s motives and soft heart be his downfall or his saving grace? Read The Monsters of Otherness to learn more about Erec and his adventures in this fantasy world that Ms. Kingsley has so vividly portrayed in these first novels of her series.
While these are fantasy books, the author has taken a compelling cast as well as a number of intriguing locations and brought them together in a novel which appeals not only to preteens all the way up to adults but also presents a number of challenging themes and lessons for the reader. These nuggets are enmeshed with the events and people of Ms. Kingsley’s fictional world in such a way that the books come across as an entrancing story of another child who is discovering his own identity as many of the children and perhaps even some of the adults who pick them up also are.
And don’t forget to also check out my review of The Dragon’s Eye Book one of the Erec Rex Series.