Book titles: The Cloud Searchers, The Last Council, Prince of the Elves, Escape from Lucien
Author: Kazu Kibsuihi
Series: Amulet, #3, #4, #5, #6
Publisher: GRAPHIX (Scholastic)
Release dates: September 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 (respectively)
Formats: Paperbacks, 199 pages, 214 pages, 199 pages, 215 pages (respectively)
Synopsis for The Cloud Searchers, book #3:
AN IMPOSSIBLE JOURNEY WITH DANGER AT EVERY TURN…
Emily, Navin, and their crew of resistance fighters charter an airship and set off in search of the lost city of Cielis. There they hope to find help from the Guardian Council’s powerful Stonekeepers. It’s a mission that Alledia’s survival depends on, and time is running out–Emily’s got to find Cielis before the Elf King finds her.
Amulet is an awesome Middle Grade fantasy adventure series. I am now caught up with the series, and book 7 should be coming out next month. In total, there are going to be 9 books in this acclaimed graphic novel series by Kazu Kibuishi. The books are entertaining, and have a sprawling story with many different characters. But it’s the artwork that makes these books truly stand out. Kazu’s gorgeous illustrations and vibrant colors are what make the books so memorable and engrossing.
I’ve previously reviewed books 1 and 2, The Stonekeeper and The Stonekeeper’s Curse, respectively. As the series has gone on, though, I’ve noticed that the story lost its darker and more mature tones in the middle books, most notably book 3, The Cloud Searchers. This isn’t a bad thing at all, and definitely will make it easier for kids to understand and pick up, but I missed the subtler (or not so subtle) mature themes hinted at (or yelled at) starting way back in book 1, The Stonekeeper. Book 6, Escape from Lucien, definitely had some dark moments. The story also gets much darker as more of the world and history are explained, most notably in books 5 and 6. Basically, what I’m getting at is the series lost its more mature elements for a while but did gain them back. I just wish every book had been consistent in terms of theme and elements.
That all being said, the most lighthearted of the book is book 3, The Cloud Searchers. Practically the book’s entire color scheme is brighter, in addition to the story being about airships and searching for the lost city of Cielis. Just by looking at the covers you can tell which are the more serious and dire installments: books 5 and 6, Prince of the Elves and Escape from Lucien, are definitely the grimmest of the bunch so far. There’s lots of action, lots of fighting, and lots of sinister Stonekeeper lore that’s finally explained.
Book 5 really felt like it was the build-up for the next book, in which all hell would break loose, versus being an entire story in itself. I’m exaggerating about that, but books 4 and 5, The Last Council and Prince of the Elves, were the least memorable for me. Book 6, Escape from Lucien, was very dialogue-heavy, noticeably more so than the other books. There were also more characters introduced, who I sadly didn’t care much for; to be honest, I haven’t liked these later books quite as much as the first few. It’s not that the series has lost its steam, but… maybe it has, in a way. There’s just so much jam-packed into the books now that it’s almost difficult to keep track of what’s going on outside of Emily’s Stonekeeper plot.
I find myself more attached to supporting characters rather than Emily or Navin, the sister-brother duo who both run their respective shows. The villains are actually more interesting and layered than the good guys, and while I don’t root for the baddies, I’m very interested in their pasts and their secrets and the lies and vows they’re tangled in. My favorite character, although very small, is Dagno, the baby dragon. Dagno cracks me up. He’s not in the books very much, but the few pages in which he appears are pure gold.
To finish this review, I’ll admit that I thought book 6 was the end of the series. So I read it, believing it to be the finale. I was quite confused when the story seemed far from over in the scope of things, and promptly discovered on Goodreads that there are going to be three more books. Well. I’ll definitely be reading them, but it sounds like the entire saga won’t be over until 2017! Well, I still recommend reading these books. They’re quick and they’re fun, and you can marathon them easily. Kazu Kibuishi’s artwork alone should be enough to persuade you to pick these graphic novels up. That and the awesome fantasy elements and sprawling adventure about heroes and villains. ♦
Have you read any of the Amulet books?
If you haven’t, would you be interested to?
What’s a sprawling fantasy adventure series you’ve read and enjoyed?
Comment below letting me know!
And, as always, happy reading!