THE EMERALD OF PHAUNOS (Scepter – Book II) by Scott L. Collins
Argyle has taken control of Castiglias, forced many of its citizens into slavery, and cast the others out into the wild. AND he’s destroyed the Scepter of Harmony, a key to the prosperity of the kingdom.
Daniel now holds the stoneless Scepter as his bitter reward for saving the fairy settlement. What would happen if the stones were gathered and the Scepter reassembled? Daniel, Aidan, Olivia, and Lilly set out to locate and take back the Emerald of Phaunos, one of the four gems that gave the Scepter its power.
King Argyle’s army of diegylis, a half man/half werewolf beast, will stop at nothing to catch the four rebels. The tree people in the Acheron forest now possess the emerald. It will take all the strength and determination the young band can rally to recover the stolen emerald. But can they do it before the diegylis destroy them?
I enjoyed the first book in the series (you can read my review here), but I was totally entertained with this one. I felt Scott Collins found his stride. His writing was better, he didn’t bog the reader down with all the daily mundane tasks, and there’s plenty of action to appease action junkies. So much so, I found myself holding my breath in a few places. Especially with the huge man-eating toad. YUCKO!! When attacked, toads emit a chemical that will induce frothing of the mouth. My cat eat a toad once and we thought he had rabies. LOL. So, what happened to Aidan was very believable.
In the first book, we were told about King Argyle, now we get to meet him. We get to see him in all his evilness. What I feel is missing is the WHY behind him. Why does he hate everyone and everything? What motivates him to be so vile? So, right now, he’s pretty much a one-dimensional character. Maybe these questions will be answered in the next book.
We’re also introduced to Fracik, leader of a pack of diegylis, who are half man, half werewolf, and totally ruthless. They were created by Argyle to do his dirty work. Fracik hates Argyle for taking his wife and child from him, and I can see somewhere down the road that he might be changing sides. I am curious to see how this part of the story develops.
This is a very fast-paced book, and when I hit the end, I was like, what, that’s the end? Of course, it leaves you on a cliff-hanger, like the first book. I can’t wait to start the 3rd one. I give it 5 dragons and highly recommend it for young adult readers and adults alike. BTW, I love the book covers, and they depict scenes from the story.