Meandering intent on a knife edge

The Box by C.C. Mono (#2 Eagle Kings Academy)

Without a doubt this is one of THE reads of the year.  Imagine Harry Potter and James T. Kirk set up a school for their future selves and Darth Vader invested in it. That’s it!

There’s a scene at a ball in Venice, it’s bursting with intrigue, costumes, opaque conversations and dastardly players.  I was so lost in plotting who I’d take on, I forgot I was reading.  It is one of the most finely crafted fanasty/magical scenes I’ve ever read.  J.K. Rowling wants a peak!

I loved the first book but this is on another level.  There’s a richness of detail and a meandering intent.  I choose the word intent deliberately.  Because it feels like C.C. Mono is teasing us with his true purpose.  It’s as if you are in a Middle Eastern bazaar getting just a hint of an elusive fragrant, as you chase it there’s veil after veil obscuring your vision.  You want to pull it all down and breathe in, but the trail is cold now.  However, you know it will be back, you know it’s hidden waiting to pounce. And you delight in it.

The Eagle Kings Academy is all about leadership, selecting, crafting and setting up our future leaders.  But how do we define true leaders?  Are they unique innovative wild cards?  People who choose their own paths? Or are they people who learn, who absorb the very best and lead swathes of people to an agreed outcome?  Is there room for both?  Is the first too risky? But with the second can we progress?  These are the tantalising glimpses we get into Mono’s thoughts on the matter.  I seriously need more on this.

As for the story, it’s beautifully plotted, Mono’s ingenious story leads to plenty of gasps and shakes of the head.  He has left me hanging on a knife edge and it’s so damn cruel.

PS I used the term setting up deliberately because there’s plenty of that going on. But by who? And why?

Thank you to Helen at TBConFB for encouraging me to read this series. Her passion for it was infectious.