Series: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians, Book 3
Author: Brandon Sanderson (site)
Publisher: Starscape (Tor)
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy Adventure
Told: First Person (Alcatraz), Past Tense
Content Rating: Young Teen (fighting and violence)
Format Read: Hardcover (publisher)
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase On: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
The Knights of Crystallia is the third action-packed fantasy adventure in the Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series for young readers by the #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson. These fast-paced and funny novels are now available in deluxe hardcover editions illustrated by Hayley Lazo.
In this third Alcatraz adventure, Alcatraz Smedry has made it to the Free Kingdoms at last. Unfortunately, so have the evil Librarians--including his mother! Now Alcatraz has to find a traitor among the Knights of Crystallia, make up with his estranged father, and save one of the last bastions of the Free Kingdoms from the Evil Librarians.
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Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review. Thank you, Tor!
Series: This is the third book in the five-book Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series. For my review of the first book see Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians (second book review to come).
In a Sentence: Although not quite as exciting as the first two books, this proved another fun and witty installment in the Alcatraz series!
After many adventurous detours, Alcatraz has finally made it to his birthplace in the Free Kingdoms. But with its castles and costumes and controversies little is familiar, and nothing is quite as he'd anticipated. For one thing, his family is sort of a big deal. For another, he is an even bigger deal. But while he initially enjoys the fame and perks, Alcatraz quickly learns that being a big deal also comes with a lot of expectations and responsibilities, like foiling assassinations, saving kingdoms, and attending Council meetings. To accomplish all this he is forced to befriend a recovering Librarian, ride a hog, read mysterious books, and break many, many things, and in doing so stumbles upon several shocking revelations about his family and his powers.
This book wasn't quite as good as the first two for me - the wit just wasn't as striking, the setting as impressive, and there was little excitement until well into the second half of the book. That said though, the wit still had its moments as Alcatraz used his signature chapterly tangents to talk about chapter breaks, after-school specials, and fish sticks, all of which and more had me snickering at length on numerous occasions. And birthplace Nalhalla had its highlights, from some unusual modes of transportation (spoiler: dragons!!), to its Royal Archives (not a library), to the Honorable Guild of Evil Warlords. Also, while I felt I was predicting some nigglenutted behavior in the plot as the story escalated, I was eventually proven infinitely wrong (which I really should have expected, this being an Alcatraz book) before a thrilling climax and an intriguing epilogue left me eager for the next installment. Some new and quirky characters were added to the mix as previous ones were shuffled a bit and, while I wasn't as impressed with Alcatraz's character development in this book, I adored Bastille's growth and strength, even in her suffering. She's been one of the toughest female characters I've ever read, and I look forward to her continued perseverance in the face of limitations, adversity, and Smedrys.
Conclusion: While not quite as quotable or adventurous as previous installments, The Knights of Crystallia was still a fun read with good humor, great characters, and a strong ending - I definitely recommend it if you enjoyed the first two books. Can't wait for Book 4, The Shattered Lens, releasing July 19, 2016!
For Fans Of: Harry Potter