The Skeleth by Matthew Jobin follows the adventures of three teens in a world of feudal battles, heroes, monsters, and magic. Reminiscent of C.S. Lewis, in which evil does its worst deeds by partnering with greedy men, this book – and its predecessor Nethergrim – will keep pages turning as unlikely heroes learn that the myths they learned as children were real …. but the monsters were not truly defeated, and they are returning ……
Note: I received an advanced copy of THE SKELETH from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Skeleth by Matthew Jobin (The Nethergrim Trilogy #2)
Published by Philomel on May 10th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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In a vast kingdom divided by power-hungry lords, land equals power. With the Nethergrim now awake, her limitless wellspring of evil means opportunity for those willing to do her bidding. One ambitious Lord, eager to overthrow his counterparts and rule the north, succumbs to temptation, helping to let loose the Skeleth, forces of energy that absorb whole anyone who attempts to kill them. In this way the slain end up as slayers, a vicious cycle that never ends.
Yet that will not stop young Edmund--an apprentice wizard--and his friends Katherine and Tom, from trying to stop the evil threatening to overtake their kingdom. Together, they team up with the legendary Tristan in a battle of courage, brains, determination, and sacrifice to stop the Skeleth and save the Barony of Elverain from being conquered.
- I really enjoyed the world-building and unique magical system. Jobin introduced magic in the first book of the series and is gradually revealing its complexities as Edmund, the innkeeper’s son turned apprentice wizard, struggles to figure out how to use his abilities in time to defeat the evils that have been awakened by an opposing baron. Edmund’s struggles to find information about magic and the effort he must exert in order to learn how to craft spells is refreshing. He doesn’t get to wake up one morning to find out that he is powerful; he has to study and sometimes pay a high price to unearth knowledge and solve the riddles that guard the way to that knowledge.
- The other two protagonists, Tom and Katherine, also must struggle and fight against stereotypes and barriers in order to develop their talents and exercise their skills. Feudal society’s restrictions on a slave and a girl are as much an enemy as the Skeleth and the power-hungry lord that tries to use it to defeat his rivals.
- There is some romance, but it is complicated and builds slowly through the first two books. At the end of this volume, it is still not clear who …. if anyone …. will “get the girl” in the end.
- While I like all of the protagonists, I think the horse and the dog together steal the show. Jumble and Indigo prove to be devoted, loyal, and loving. While there are a few heart-in-the-throat moments, it all ends well.
- Both The Nethergrim and The Skeleth drag a bit in the middle, and I was tempted to give up or skip ahead. But persistence was rewarded, and past the half-way mark, I found myself reading “just one more chapter” until I was done.
I really enjoyed both books of this trilogy so far and am looking forward to the third!! They are a bit grim in spots, especially regarding the treachery of greedy people. I’d suggest these for a reader a little older than average for the young adult genre … or even an adult who likes high fantasy.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
THE SKELETH by MATTHEW JOBIN
© 2016, Barbara. All rights reserved.