|Title: The Paladin Prophecy|
|Author: Mark Frost|
|Genre: Urban Fantasy|
|Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers|
|Series: Book 1 of the Paladin Prophecy series|
Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents’ insistence, he’s made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam.
Now Will is being courted by an exclusive prep school . . . and is being followed by men driving black sedans. When Will suddenly loses his parents, he must flee to the school. There he begins to explore all that he’s capable of–physical and mental feats that should be impossible–and learns that his abilities are connected to a struggle between titanic forces that has lasted for millennia.
Co-creator of the groundbreaking television series Twin Peaks, Mark Frost brings his unique vision to this sophisticated adventure, which combines mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.
The Paladin Prophecy is a book I’ve been looking forward to reading since it was first published. Now, about two years down the road, I’ve had the pleasure of reading it.
And what a pleasure.
Articulate, emotive writing and intelligent characters are two of the things I wholly appreciate. Add to that a plot that seems slightly absurd, but not wholly unrealistic, and that’s when I know I’m in for a pretty fantastic, wild ride.
The Paladin Prophecy starts at a time when Will West is just starting to settle into his new life and hometown. With a family that constantly moves around for reasons as yet unknown to him, Will knows that his feeling of contentment has a limited lifespan, with today being the due date.
It’s not hard to emphatize with Will–he’s always been a loner, both through choice and circumstance. Frost illustrates Will as someone completely out of his element–having always been taught to downplay his skills and lay low, it takes a while for Will to stretch his abilities and accustom himself with the feeling of companionship. Furthermore, his new circumstances play a big part in how he reacts to his new surroundings and to people in general.
I do love my boarding school settings, especially when you add a layer of magic, science fiction or history with it. That feels like the norm.
Here’s where it gets slightly unrealistic: the cast of fifteen-year-old characters sound much more sophisticated and articulate, with a sharp sense of wit and humour than your average fifteen-year-old. Their dialogue tends to seem as if a helpful thesaurus was nearby–however, this is explained, and even referred to in a bit of meta.
The main cast play off each other well, with each of them played as comic relief and essential, plot-driving parts of the team. Each of them shine in their own way, with the exception of Brooke, who feels more like your standard shoo-in love interest, though even she has her depths of characterization.
Much is explained about the world that the Paladin Prophecy is set in, yet I found myself hungering for more than the surface level mythology that was explored. Perhaps it will be revealed more in the sequel. For now, I find myself pretty satisfied with it. A fun, zippy, intelligent read, the Paladin Prophecy is one to stimulate the mind.