Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review: The Golden Door - Emily Rodda

The Golden Door by Emily Rodda
Series: Three Doors Trilogy #1
Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy
Published on October 1, 2012
Published by Scholastic Press
Pages: 272
Read From: 3.11.13 - 3.14.13

Three magic Doors you here behold. Time to choose: Wood? Silver? Gold? 
Rye stands before three Doors, about to step out into the unknown. He's lived his whole life safe inside the enormous walls that rings the city of Weld and protects against the terrible dangers outside. Now, Weld is under attack from skimmers, flying beasts that kill in the night. If the enemy sending the skimmers isn't found, the citizens of Weld are doomed. 
But that's not why Rye has volunteered on a mission to leave Weld and stop the skimmers. His real goal is the find his two older brothers, who volunteered before him and never returned. Now Rye must open a Door and begin a perilous quest that could save his brothers . . . or cost his life.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Yes. There are no character impersonators; just sea serpents, and they’re awesome - and the golden Door.

Characters: At first, I didn’t feel like I knew Rye all that well. He wasn’t cardboard; I sensed that he had a really awesome personality, but he felt like a stranger. While I still don’t feel like I know him as well as I could, and would like to, he’s more than just a name now. He’s a brave, resourceful, quick-thinking lad - just the sort you want for an adventure. I didn’t like Sonia at first, either. She was unnecessarily rude to Rye, and acted like she had something to prove. But as the story progressed, her sharp wit and steadfast strength became apparent, and her attitude tempered. Olt, the villain of the piece, wasn’t very scary - decomposing sorcerers seeking immortality rarely are, at least to me. But considering he’s not the villain of the entire trilogy, he was all right.

The Romance: Will there be a romantic attachment between Rye and Sonia later? Honestly, I’m not certain. There could be, there could not be. In The Golden Door, at least, there isn’t.

Plot: The city of Weld is a place of safety, and the citizens perfectly behaved. But now Weld is being threatened by skimmers - dragon-like creatures that fly over Weld’s protective walls at night to devour anyone and anything they can find, destroying homes and livelihoods. If this keeps up, Weld will not survive. Rye’s two older brothers volunteer to go on the perilous quest to leave Weld and discover where the skimmers are coming from and destroy them. But they don’t return, so Rye volunteers to go and find them. Along the way, he’s joined by Sonia - an orphan of Weld determined to have a part in the quest. And then Rye discovers that his arrival in the outside world has been expected, and he’s given nine mysterious gifts of power to aid him on his quest. Further exploration of the world outside of Weld reveals that things aren’t peaceful there, either, as Midsummer’s Eve approaches, which spells the beginning of something horrible. It’s an exciting storyline, filled with the sort of fantastic creatures only Emily Rodda can imagine, and danger, and mystery. Though the beginning is slightly slow, the world of Weld had me hooked, and then I was anxious to see what Rye would encounter on the other side of the golden Door.

Believability: Not really applicable.

Writing Style: Perfect for this sort of story. Rodda’s worlds are excitingly beautiful. Though Weld is described as rather big, I couldn’t imagine it so; it just didn’t feel as big as it was supposed to be.

Content: None.

Conclusion: Perilous, a close shave, and in a word: exciting. I can’t wait to see what The Silver Door brings. The demise of Olt might strike some as rather abrupt and sudden, but as I said, he’s not the villain of the trilogy, and he’s not all that scary, so his death is fitting.

Recommended Audience: Girl-and-boy read, good for kids eight to thirteen, recommended for Emily Rodda fans and like stories.

Others in The Three Doors Trilogy:
1)The Golden Door
2)The Silver Door
3)The Third Door

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