Picking up the story from the first book (Demon's Watch) the newest recruit Joseph Grubb, and his fellow Watchmen, have their work cut out protecting Port Fayt once again. From page one onwards we are flung into a second madcap adventure as the characters set sail to Port Fayt. However, trouble is brewing from the League of Light - the Duke of Garran and his fleet of ships are trying to wipe them off the map.
The only hope for Port Fayt is to persuade the magical merfolk to fight alongside them, but the merfolk won't go to war. At least not until their princess is returned, which creates a magical split story setting. My favourite part of the story involved a nine year-old underground super villain known as The Boy King. Ruthless ruler of the Ebony Ocean, he is a crazy bully boy who loves a brutal song and a dance or two. One of his star acts includes Princess Pallione - a voice of the gods and a demon shark fighter. However it's up to Joseph and his blue-haired friend, Tabitha, to rescue the mermaid princess from the gangsters clutches.
I have to say that I was so immersed in the story from the start, that in a blink of an eye I was half-way through the book in no time. I really liked the style of writing involving the split story setting between the different characters - each immersed in their own battles and dealing with a range of encounters. In my opinion this worked really well as it certainly showed the many different angles to the story. Packed full of filling, this story incorporates lots of well thought out ideas that keeps the reader on their toes such as Joseph's secret from the past. This certainly turned part of the story onto its head and made sure that the reader took a new course of direction.
Hugely entertaining, this second book has certainly built upon the magical setting from the first book. The author has delivered another high adventure on sea and land transferring both into a well written story. All lovers of the fantasy genre will want to read this story. The bickering, fighting and waves of emotion are memorable parts of the story as well as the timely sprinkling and inclusion of wit. However, be warned, the loveable characters from the first book may not make it through to the very next book. Hopefully this isn't a cheeky spoiler from me - I don't usually make a habit of giving away such elements of insight!
Conrad wraps the book up with a whirlpool of action and plot which will keep you transfixed until the very end. It leaves you with a satisfied feeling having been led onto the subtle path that he has created for the next adventure.
This is a superbly written magical fantasy that is up there with the best. It has barrel loads of imagination, action galore, and a huge dollop of mayhem and mischief. The author has triumphantly built on the great foundations of the first book and made this one even more enjoyable. I am looking forward to the next book to be further led along the path that has been started.
Published by David Fickling Books - 4th April 2013