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Friday, April 23, 2010

"The Celestial Globe: The Kronos Chronicles Book Two" by Marie Rutkoski (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

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Introduction: One of my favorite books of 2008 was the first book in the Kronos Chronicles: The Cabinet of Wonders. It was such a rich and detailed debut novel but at the same time it wasn't overly long. It's been a long year and half wait for the second novel but it was well worth the wait. The Celestial Globe is the second novel in the Kronos Chronicles by Marie Rutkoski.

For the past few months Petra has been hidden away from Prince Rodolfo. In an attempt to try and capture the young girl who has stolen from his secret cabinet the Prince sends evil man made monsters to track down Petra. With the help of a friend and her father, Petra has enough warning to not be killed by the monsters but instead ends up facing them in a fight.

The next thing Petra knows she has magically appeared in London. However, London is thousands of miles away from her hometown. It appears as if John Dee has saved her from the monster attack but is now keeping her prisoner in his home. What would his motivation be to keeping Petra safe? Is he out to use Petra like he did in Prince Rodolfo's castle?

Meanwhile, after the monster's attack on Petra. Petra's friend, Tomik goes in search of her. What he finds are four dead animals. As he searches the area that he believes Petra is he magically walks through a rift that takes him to a mysterious beach somewhere on the coast. It is Tomik's luck that he is captured by a group of gypsy pirates who take Tomik captive in the hopes of selling him as a slave later on. On the ship that Tomik is taken captive on there is an old friend of Petra who will take an interest in Tomik's goal of saving Petra. While on the ship the pirates are in search of a magical globe known as the Celestial Globe which will help them travel around the world through rifts. The only problem is no one knows where this Globe has disappeared to or even how to use it.

The Celestial Globe is a YA fantasy novel with historical elements throughout, magic, and adventure. It is the second novel in the Kronos Chronicles. It stands at 304 pages and was released by Farrar Straus Giroux on April 13, 2010.

The Cabinet of Wonders caught my eye in 2008 and I loved every minute of reading it. I have actually read it several times and it never gets old. There is something about Marie Rutkoski's writing that just pulls you in and makes you want to read the book over and over again. I have since recommended the book to several others. When Celestial Globe came out I grabbed it up the first chance I got. Celestial Globe is just as good as Cabinet of Wonders but in it's own unique way.

The major strength of Cabinet of Wonders and Marie Rutkoski's writing was the unique setting. Not many YA fantasy books choose the setting of a Bohemian town that has a bit of an old world feel to it. Add magic to the mix and there is a perfect mixture of for a great story.

Celestial Globe
has a different setting. Instead of a Bohemian setting it's Elizabethian England and a ship traveling on the high seas. While this isn't the first book to use this setting Rutkoski really made it her own.

The characters are another great strength to this book. Cabinet of Wonders introduced readers to Petra and Astrophil (Petra's pet tin spider). In Celestial Globe the characters start to grow into their own. Petra is beginning to come into her talents and is learning what her role in the world will be, she is a bit head strong but at the same time is starting to develop multi dimensions as a character. Meanwhile, Astrophil offers his guidance and a bit of humor to the story. Astrophil is my favorite character, he is honest, straight forward and funny all in one.

Something that stands out in Celestial Globe is the mixture of fiction, history and a magical world. Celestial Globe is by no means a historical fantasy, but there are plenty of historical facts that are nicely blended into this magical story that make it an amazing read. It really shines through how much research is done to make it come across so smoothly. This is one of the major appeals of this whole series for myself.

I would not recommend reading Celestial Globe without first reading Cabinet of Wonders. There is to much background information that is needed to fully grasp what is going on. For example, why the Prince is after Petra or who Neel is. While these are briefly explained I'm not sure it would be understood fully without the first book.

This novel is a very quick read. The action is very fast paced but what makes the novel run so quickly is the brief chapters in the book. Each chapter stands between 5-15 pages. This might give it a bit of a faster pace feeling to it. There is no dwelling on unnecessary events or feelings.

The novel is nicely wrapped up but there are threads that are still hanging out there for the future novels to come. There is a sense of completion but of wanting to read more of the series which is a perfect mixture.

Overall Celestial Globe exceeded my expectations and will definitely be a top 2010 novel for myself. While it is a YA novel it has enough appeal and fast paced atmosphere that even adults will love this novel. Maria Rutkoski is showing her real talent for character and plot development and I await the third novel.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read, I'll be getting my hands on this one.

Elfy said...

This sounds like a series I may have to check out. Sigh, the TBR pile just keeps on growing.

Cindy said...

I know the feeling. My TBR pile is nearing 4 digits long (Should I cap it at 5 LOL).

These are fairly quick reads but still so much fun. I'm very anxious to see how the author pulls off the historical element in the area they are going to next :)

Anonymous said...

I loved the first book and have been wait for ever to get the second one! I"m excited to get it!

Anonymous said...

it sounds like a good book to bad i have to wait to get it from the library... the first book was amazing very well done!

Anonymous said...

I've read both the books and I absolutely loved them. I didn't want the second one to end! Does anyone know if Marie is considering on making a third book? I just love them!

Anonymous said...

I adore Petra. She has to be my favorite female protagonist because of her frank options and bold actions. I am still waiting to read the third book.

Anonymous said...

Too bad for me..I can't see any series of this book here in my country..I was too late to discover it..I just saw the first series in a bookstore, then I thought it's a nice story, and it was! But, really bad because I can't see any series..I wanted to keep reading it..Where so you think I can read the Book 2 and 3 of this story? Can you help?


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