This constant exposition comes via endless conversations, which brings us to all of the subject of wordiness. These books are populated almost entirely by dialog.
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Some of the dialog is external, some of it is internal. Sometimes a wise character explains things to an ignorant character — dumping loads of exposition in the process — and sometimes a character ruminates endlessly on every thought or feeling he is having, about himself, the situation, or the very information that was just conveyed in a dialog. In most cases, Cole is on the receiving end of all of the exposition, and in most cases, Cole is the one ruminating and reacting and ruminating about his reactions.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that upwards of sixty percent of the the text is taken up with talking, considering, and emoting. As an individual, Cole is also extremely thin. He has little discernible character, nothing that makes him come alive as an entity.
Kingdom's Quest — "The Kingdom" Series Book Review | Plugged In
He is suddenly heroic, when the plot needs him to be, but for the most part he is a collection of reactions that communicates itself in monosyllabic sentences when it is not being constantly instructed or complimented by the slightly rounder characters that surround it. It is a given that he is one special kid, because the author says so, and important character are always telling him so. It is a given that he confront baddies and protect his friends whenever the author requires it, but for the most part he is little more than a wandering plot point.
And the plot itself is little more than wandering.
Cole goes from one place to another, encountering various spectacles. He experiences an obstacle, gets some information, and moves on to the next location.
Cole walks around trying to find his friends and accomplish small tasks for the length of five books. In the meantime, Mull conjures up a constant flow of distractions to keep the reader engaged while Cole goes about his predictable quest. The majority of the drama arises not from the movement of the plot itself, nor from some kind of genuine character development, but simply from a constant flow of juicy details about whatever realm he currently inhabits.
Most problematic of all, since neither the logic of the worlds nor the rules of shaping are intuitive or intrinsically engaging, and since both are complicated, ad hoc, and incomprehensible, the distinction between exposition setup , and revelation is completely blurred. There are some positive aspects of the series. The author clearly wants to write books that teach and reinforce good values. The series is very imaginative, and quite popular with grade school readers, who are able to get a lot of enjoyment purely out the encounter fascinating scenarios and fantastic beings.
To paraphrase author Neil Gaiman, when children and adults read the same book, they are not really reading the same book.
Yet one cannot help but feel that the series was rushed, and not fully thought out. It feels like a casserole composed of too many ingredients, many of them, perhaps, tasty, but not properly assembled. There is too much and too little of everything, and the dish feels like an amalgamation rather than a coherent whole. Brandon Mull can do better. Joseph Breslin is a fifth grade homeroom teacher at The Heights School. He has invented or coinvented eleven patented construction products now being sold internationally. He earned his BS in electrical and electronic engineering from North Dakota State University and today, with his wife, Andrea, is in his thirteenth year homeschooling their six children.
The Blacks take their family music ministry on the road, singing Christian gospel, contemporary, and traditional songs. Chuck is enjoying his eighth year teaching adult Sunday school classes.
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Kingdom's Quest 05 in The Kingdom Series. Kingdom's Hope 02 in The Kingdom Series. Kingdom's Edge 03 in The Kingdom Series. Kingdom's Reign 06 in The Kingdom Series. Kingdom's Quest. Kingdom's Dawn. Chuck Black Chuck Black spent eight years in the Air Force traveling the world as a communications engineer and an F fighter pilot.