Book 30 of 2015: The Paladin’s Choice by Launa Sorensen

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“I felt a cold chill spread throughout my body
and an empty ache settle in my heart. My friend was dead.”
A dark threat is sweeping across the nation, seeping into Aldeon, the forest of the Elves. Diane, newly-knighted Paladin of Areane, sets out to defend her kingdom’s allies and protect Jim’s young reign. When tragedy strikes, however, and the true nature of Aldeon’s threat becomes apparent, Diane is caught in a life-ordeath struggle to hold onto everything she has fought so desperately for.
A tale of friendship, bravery, honor, and love, The Paladin’s Choice is the second book in The Areane Journals, a new series chronicling the darkest time in Areane’s history, and the young woman fighting desperately to save her world from falling apart.

The Paladin’s Choice is the second book in the Areane Journals, a fantasy series about a family who travel into a mystic land. In the first book, The King’s First Journey, we are introduced to the world of Areane. This world has a dark magical history. It tells the story of a small family leaving their home and entering a world they never knew about. In this world, the oldest child Jim is crowned king. I likened the first book as a mix of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. It is a high fantasy written for children, but adults can love it as well.

The second book in the series, The Paladin’s Choice, the feeling is still there. It was filled with action and adventure all centering on King Jim’s younger sister, Diane. Set three years after the events of the first book, we learn that Diane has become one of the best fighters in Areane. Even though being a female is still a faux-pas, she stands on her own and proves herself to be a strong female. In this book, she learns important details on how to be the King’s Paladin and tries to protect her friends.

There is an ease in getting into the story. I love stories that center more on the characters than the world. Don’t get me wrong, world building is vital, but if your characters just look like paper dolls in an elaborate world, that’s no fun. In my opinion, the characters have to be more interesting at times. Launa Sorensen made her characters interesting while still showing the world. It was easy for me to get into the story and keep reading.

There are many action scenes to keep you going. One scene, in the end, is possibly the worst scene in the whole book. By worse, I mean that I was tearing up. Not many books can do that. It is because I really care about the characters that I feel terrible for Kila and her family in the end of the book.

A few words of advice before reading this book, you will want to have read the first book before this one. You need to know the background of the characters to understand their motivations in this one. I wouldn’t say the characters change too much, but the change is gradual and can be seen per book. It doesn’t necessarily happen as the book is being read. This is an adventure book geared more towards a younger audience. It has dark elements, but isn’t too dark to scare a child (hence the like HP statement).

And I will end this review with a gushing love for my shipping fandom of two characters: Diane and Ronan. No, the romance isn’t big and may be one sided . . . maybe . . . but I love them together.

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