Michael Wisehart is one of my favorite authors, alongside Michael J. Sullivan, John Bierce, and Brian McClellan. So, I was extremely excited to be part of the “review team” for Rockslide, the third installment of the series Street Rats of Aramoor.
In this book, Ayrion finds himself responsible for a group of outcasts from the various street tribes of Aaramoor. Starving and harassed by the other tribes, the outcasts are struggling simply to survive. Feeling the burden of leadership, Ayrion and his friends Reevie and Sapphire endeavor to save the outcasts as well as the members of Hurricane by earning entrance into the Guild. However, nothing is ever easy, and several members of the Guild are eager to see the demise of Ayrion and the Hurricane tribe, so they ask an impossible price, one that Ayrion cannot pay without extreme risk to his life.
If you have not already done so, I suggest re-reading Hurricane (the second book in the series). It has been a long time since I read it, and consequently, when I started reading Rockslide, it took me a while to recall who the various characters were and how they related to one another.
As I said before, Michael Wisehart is one of my favorite authors. I enjoy the way he writes. Personally, I thought Rockslide was a little slow, but that may be due to the fact that I know where the story is going. I have read, and truly love, The Aldoran Chronicles and know the role that Aryion plays in that series. Consequently, I am very eager (one might say impatient), to see how he gets there. However, Rockslide, like the other Street Rats books, primarily still deals with Aryion’s life on the streets of Aramoor. So, I guess I will just have to learn to be patient while I wait for Aryion to grow from being a street rat to the character he is in The Aldoran Chronicles.
A little bit of waiting never hurt anyone….right?
How long do I have to wait for the next one?
I can say with certainty that I enjoyed this book far more than the first one, probably because there is significantly less torture. (The torture in the first book made me squeamish.)
In the last book, my favorite storylines were ones involving Ty and the Weilder Council, but in this book, I really enjoyed Ferrin, Rae, and Ayrion’s storylines.
I will say from a reader’s standpoint, the book could have benefited from a synopsis of the first book, The White Tower, along with a character list and short bio of each. It has been a long time since the first book was released (approx. 3 years), and I’d forgotten some major plot details and supporting characters, some of whom have a larger role in this book. After reading 12 chapters of Plague of Shadows, I decided to re-listen to the first book to refresh my memory. Once I did that, I was able to truly enjoy Plaque of Shadows.
In conclusion, this series is still in my top-10 list and is definitely worth reading. (I’m even thinking about buying the audio version. Tim Gerard Reynolds is an AMAZING narrator!) But, if you have not read The White Tower recently, you will want to do so before starting this book (unless you are one of the lucky few with a photographic memory).
I received an advance copy of “Plaque of Shadows” by Michael Wisehart in exchange for a review.
While I enjoyed Michael Wisehart’s first book, The White Tower, I found I enjoyed his newest series – Street Rats of Aramoor – far more. It was simply less violent and more fun.
This series, so far consisting of two books – Banished and Hurricane, takes place before Wisehart’s The White Tower. It follows a 13-year-old boy named Ayrion, a character you meet as an adult in The White Tower, and tells of his life before he ended up serving as the king’s protector. You learn where he came from and how he ended up in Aramoor.
While the series at this point stops short of telling how Ayrion first meets the king of Aaramoor, I would not be surprised if there are more books to follow, and if there aren’t, as it stands now, the ending of the second book will leave you satisfied.
This is definitely a book worth reading (or listening to if you prefer audio books), and it will be added to my “favorites” list.