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Darkbeast Rebellion by Morgan Keyes

Darkbeast Rebellion

by Morgan Keyes

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book free via LibraryThing's Early Reviewer giveaway. It's the sequel to "Rebel Flight" which I bought and read first.

I loved this one. Okay, had no clue what I was getting beyond finally finding another fantasy genre book by the author of a fave series that started with The Glasswrights' Apprentice.

Turns out it is a Middle Grade read with a just-turning-12 heroine. Glad I didn't know that going in. On the other hand, the pacing and subject matter really read a bit intense for MG audience. Had an air of many fairytale and fantasy books set in small villages.

The worldbuilding is a fantasy setting where (not a spoiler, right at beginning and in synopsis) children are bonded to animals -- dark beasts -- a few days after birth so the animals can absorb all their rebellious and bad feelings/thoughts. On their 12th birthday, they are expected to sacrifice their dark beast.

But, Keara loves her Raven, Caw. She cannot bring herself to sacrifice her friend and instead runs off with a troupe of traveling players. Now caught out, she and other "darkers" are seeking rumored sanctuary.

I liked the ensuing adventures, the characters, the worldbuilding, the story telling ... I did have to stop thinking "so really, no one in troupe or villages passed thru thinks a 12-year girl shouldn't be out n her own?" This one really moved along from one exciting (not always happily) adventure to another; faster paced and more intense than the first in series.

*It was previously published under a different pseudonym (probably how I missed out) as "Darkbeast Rebellion":

( )
  Spurts | Apr 14, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I got this book via the Early Reviewers in exchange for a review.

In all honesty, I'm not sure if this book was my cup of tea. It's the second in a series where I've not read the first, it's a YA title, and generally I don't much like YA titles, and the young heroine comes across as rather whiny and self-centred (although probably it's just because she's a teenager). However, it's well written, the story seems to hang together, and although it's book 2, there were enough references to get some idea of the plot of book 1 so the storyline didn't seem too much in media res. If this was a physical book, I would pass it onto my niece to see what she made of it, but she doesn't like ebooks.

I own The Glasswrights series, and I get the feeling that this new series may be following the same theme - something happens to young teen which is overcome and we then follow the teen as they grow up. From memory, The Glasswrights series starts when the teen is around 12 or 13, and finishes when the teen is in their 20s. It looks like book 1 of Darkbeasts starts when the teen has reached their 12th birthday, and this one is set 6 months to a year later, so still a lot of growing up to do!

The premise of the series is that everyone is bonded to a Darkbeast at a very young age, which acts as a moral and emotional guide, taking negative emotions away. However, on their 12th birthday, the Darkbeast is meant to be sacrificed to the gods. I can see this working as a life stage ritual; the darkbeast having fulfilled it's purpose.

The story is about a young teen who does not carry out the required sacrifice and leaves home. After various vissicitudes, she falls in with a troupe of travelling players. Book 2 starts with the heroine and 2 of the players having escaped the religious authorities travelling to find the darkers - a community of people who do not carry out the sacrifice and keep their darkbeast. Eventually, they find and join this community.

If this was a physical book, I would rate this as a keeper if the heroine started out older and developed more. As it is, I'm unlikely to want to bother with looking for book 1.
  Maddz | Apr 3, 2017 |
Keara, Goran and Taggart are on the run. Since none of them killed their darkbeasts at the age of twelve, they are breaking the law. They are being hunted by the Inquisitors who are determined to find these heretics and bring them to justice.

When the story begins, the trio is following rumors of a group of people called Darkers. She are traveling in the winter, in a deep forest, and they have run out of food. Luck has them locate a group of Darkers but something about them just doesn't seem right to Keara. She is right to be suspicious. They are fakes set up by the Inquisitor Ducis to trap those who don't kill their darkbeasts.

Keara, Goran and Taggart are taken to the Primate's city Lutecia and put under control of the Inquisitor Ducis who happens to be the Primate's son. There they meet the Primate's younger son who is now his heir. Dillon is a frustrated scholar who will soon have to give up his scholarship and learn the work of the Primate. He and his brother use Keara, Goran, and Taggart in a sort of tug of war for power.

They manage to escape again, this time taking Dillon along with them, and make their way to an actual outpost of Darkers. Taggart and Goran fit right in and are voted as members of the community but Keara has a harder time of it.

This was an exciting story that was filled with danger and adventure. I liked Keara's relationship with her darkbeast Caw and I liked that she was still struggling with pride, impatience and other faults despite Caw's guidance.

Fans of fantasy novels will enjoy this sequel to Darkbeast and hope that there are more adventures coming. ( )
  kmartin802 | Nov 17, 2013 |
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When twelve-year-old Keara and her friends are captured for not sacrificing their darkbeasts--animals they have bonded to with a psychic connection since birth--Keara meets the crown prince and realizes this fight is bigger and more political than she had imagined.… (more)

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