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.