(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Joshua Silverman.)
13-year-old Leoros is staying in a tent for the summer while his mother the archaeologist is busy excavating her latest site. When her team discover an emerald tablet they are excited, as it is a relic that they have been searching for for many years. Leoros surprises them when it seems that he can read the ancient markings on the tablet, but his mother writes it off as merely fantasy.
When Leoros later examines the tablet, and inserts a piece of amber into it, it begins to glow, and he takes it back into the site, and inserts it into the pillar of Hermes.
Doing this opens some kind of portal, and Leoros steps through to another planet, a planet on which his birthmark in the shape of two dragnos means something - it singles him out as the child of the emerald tablet.
As Leoros begins to train with Pythos, an Amun priest, he learns how to create and use blue and green energies, and also learns about a prophecy that means he'll fight the bearer of the symbol of the gold heart.
The other trainees who work with Pythos are jealous of the time he spends with Leoros though, and also pick on another girl called Atlantia because they feel she is below them - only a servant girl.
Atlantia and Leoros are strong together though, and are about to learn that not everything is as straightforward as it may seem.
Will the prophecy of the child of the emerald tablet come true? What is Atlantia's place in all of this? When will the war start? And are people who control black energy really evil?
This was a good, mature YA fantasy novel, with some strong lead characters.
Leoros seemed to accept that he was special and had a certain purpose quite quickly, as deep down he knew that this is what his life's purpose was. I liked his confidence, and I also liked how he stuck up for Atlantia when the others picked on her and made her feel bad. He never treated Atlantia like she was less than him, and always comforted her after her nightmares/visions. Leoros was also a lot more mature than you would expect of his 13 years, and it was easy to think of him as older.
Leoros' parents were a bit self-involved, and his father especially seemed a bit overbearing. He was insistant that Leoros follow a certain path in life, and disliked that he seemed to believe his mother's stories about ancient times, and liked comics and video games. When Leoros disappeared, his father even tried to blame it on his mother for filling his head with nonsense.
I did think it a little odd that Leoros' parents were quite so quick to decided that his disappearance had something to do with the glowing emerald tablet though, but I suppose seeing as there were so few possible reasons for his disappearance, and the glowing of the tablet was new, it was a semi-plausible explanation. It was nice how eventually Leoros' parents realised that they would have to work together as a team to get him back, even when their beliefs differed.
I did have trouble keeping up with the storyline in this book as there seemed to be a lot going on. I often find it difficult to keep up with fantasy books, and I actually had to use a pen and paper for this one just so I could keep track. I'm sure other people wouldn't have this problem, but there was a lot going on for me, especially when I was trying to keep track of what was happening in the other world with regards to prophecies, ancient events, and what exactly Leoros and the other trainee priests were doing.
I liked the storyline of the emerald tablet and how Leoros got transported through to the other world, and the events that were going on in the other world were fairly interesting once I worked out what was going on.
I have to say that I was really surprised by the sex scenes in this book. They weren't erotic or anything, but I totally wasn't expecting them, and I'd suggest that this puts this book at the older end of the young adult age range.
I was also quite surprised at the way the book ended. While some things that I hoped would happen did happen, there was also quite a shocking turn of events right at the end, and more questions still to be answered.
Overall; a mature YA fantasy.
6.75 out of 10.show more
by Sarah Elizabeth