Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Illuminator Rising - Book 3 in The Voyages of the Legend - by Alina Sayre

You know how you feel when you see old friends for the 1st time in nearly a year and a half?  It takes a few minutes (pages) to close that gap.  And then it's like you were never separated.  Do you know what I mean?  Well, that's what happened to me when I started reading The Illuminator Rising, book 3 in The Voyages of the Legend fantasy series.  It's geared to middle graders (8-14) but can very easily be appreciated by any reader of any age.  And when I started reading about Ellie, Conner, Vivian, Jude, Owen, and all the rest, I felt like I had just reconnected with old friends.  It doesn't get much better than that, does it?

In my reading time on earth, I have read quite a few series.  Some I have read, and continue to read, religiously (because reading is, after all, like a religion).  In others, I may read a few and then say, "Done!"  And there are those where I read one and simply say, "Next series!"  Alina Sayre's The Voyages of the Legend lands squarely behind door #1.  I love this series.  When I wrote my review of book 2, The Illuminator's Test, on November 24, 2014, I listed all of the reasons that make this series work for me.  I am cheating and copying this list from that review.  Almost all of the same comments apply:

1.  It's very well-written.  You gotta have that.
2.  Because all of the main characters are together, you get to see right away what happens just by starting the next chapter.
3.  Alina has a glossary of names, with pronunciations (which you have to have in a fantasy), in the back of the book.
5.  #2 really moves the story forward.  Instead of being just another episode, it actually has our heroes/heroines transitioning from one geographical location to another.
6.  It's fun to get a history of the One Kingdom, with it's supreme leader and his right-hand-ers.
7.  Oh, and let's not forget that I shed a few on pages...oh, never mind.  There are too many to list.  I will say, though, that very near the end I cried and laughed at the same time, which had waterworks rolling down my cheeks.  No big deal, right?  Uh, did I forget to mention that I was walking on the treadmill in the gym at the time?  I believe there might have been a curious look or 2 thrown my way!

Let me add just a few more comments based on my reading of #3:

1.  The characters are so memorable that you will remember most of them immediately - even if you haven't read #2 in a year and a half!
2.  There are a number of scenes where you will say:  "Yep, that's what a 13-year old boy would do."  Or "Yep, that's what a 13-year old girl would say."
3.  Alina still mixes in some light-hearted humor.  Anything stronger probably wouldn't fit the story.
4.  The main protagonist (Ellie) and the protagonist-ettes are really perfect for middle grade readers.
5.  And to reiterate (and expand on) #7 above, I definitely shed some tears.  But I also had smiles, chills, and laughs.  There is also a possibility that I said "Yay" and "Oh, no" a couple of times.  But none of you can prove it!

If you have not read books 1 & 2 yet, PLEASE DO THAT!  And then grab #3 when it comes out in early June.  And if you don't want to read middle grade-oriented books, please see to it that the middle graders in your life get their hands on The Voyages of the Legend.


  1. I do love getting back with stories I love but I'm not into fantasy so I don't think this is for me.

    1. I hear you. Certain genres just don't appeal. I'm not into zombies, et al. And I probably wouldn't have read any fantasies either if I hadn't met some authors.