The Eyes Of A King: The Last Descendants #1 by Catherine BannerThe Eyes Of A King: The Last Descendants #1 by Catherine Banner

The Eyes Of A King: The Last Descendants #1

byCatherine Banner

Paperback | September 22, 2009

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Ten years have passed in war-torn Malonia since the king and queen were murdered and the throne usurped by Lucien and his rebel troops. The people believe the prince has been exiled to a far-away land, saved by a prophecy that threatened those who would harm him. But they ask themselves, Is the prince still alive? Has he actually been murdered along with his parents? A country on the brink of revolution awaits his return in silence.

Leo is a rebellious soldier-in-training with secret powers. When wandering home one night, he stumbles upon a mysterious black book lying in the snow. Its strange aura and empty pages both frighten and fascinate him. Soon the pages begin to fill with the stories of Anna and Ryan in England – a country that is only a fairy tale in Malonia. When tragedy strikes, Leo tries to rid himself of the book but its stories haunt even his dreams. In The Eyes Of A King, a fast-paced novel with a unique style, these three fifteen-year-old characters, and the parallel worlds of contemporary England and the dictatorship of Malonia, become increasingly entangled.

The Eyes of a King is founded on a detailed world of magic, Malonian traditions, and politics, but its focus is always on the human element. It will appeal to young readers who love epic adventure as well as those who seek a reflection of the day-to-day challenges of their own lives. Adults will also be swept up in this grand tale, in which the ordinary meets the extraordinary, dreams mingle with reality, and heaven and earth may co-exist.

From the Hardcover edition.
Catherine Banner was born in 1989 and lives in Cambridge, England. After school and on summer vacations, she has been writing The Eyes of a King trilogy, which she began when she was fourteen.From the Hardcover edition.
Title:The Eyes Of A King: The Last Descendants #1Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8.21 × 5.5 × 0.89 inPublished:September 22, 2009Publisher:PRH Canada Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385662335

ISBN - 13:9780385662338

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Eyes of a King by Catherine Banner Blog for Book Reviews
Date published: 2010-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing.. The paragraph on the back of the book is only the start of this story, as it unfolds, you cannot believe how brilliantly the story is being told. It's such a powerful, magical story, at times I thought I was going to cry. I was defiantly caught off guard with the way this book unraveled, and how amazingly it was written. This story is so out of the ordinary, and I won't do the book any justice by telling you what it's about, it's one of those stories that has so much depth and mystery..I don't know where to start. This story is narrated by Leo, a fifteen year old boy who lives in Malonia. He, and including all the boys attend a Military School, where you learn to fight more than reading or writing. Coming home from school, Leo comes across a book in the snow. It is a simple, black, small, leather book....but there are no words on the pages. Leo takes it anyway, and when he opens it at home, words start to appear and they tell a story...and as it goes on, it becomes a fairy tale. Practically all the people in Malonia have come to belive that there is no such thing was this land called England, and that Prince Cassius no longer lives. Leo reads the book, and discovers that the story is about Prince Cassius and England. The story than switches, and starts to describe a girl, with blue eyes and a mysterious necklace....Leo doesn't know what to believe. Could these stories actually be true? And why do they mysteriously appear on the pages before his eyes? Leo deals with this mysterious book, Military school and troubles at home. The story slowly starts to unravel and what seemed like a fairy tale, could be much more. This story is defiantly hard to explain, it has so depth. It was sad at times, but I also found myself smiling. It's one of those books were I had to stop reading to gather everything that was going on, and what has happened...but I still loved it. It was written so well that even though a lot happens, you still end up enjoying the book and wishing it never ended. This was truely a great read that left me speechless at the end...I cannot wait to read the sequel, Voices in the Dark.. 2010-003
Date published: 2010-01-07

Read from the Book

These are the last words I will write. “Tell me everything from the beginning,” you said. “Explain to me why you did it.” I have. There is nothing left to tell you anymore.The dust drifts across the paving of the silent balcony. A dark wind—the first wind of autumn—rifles through the pages and draws the stars behind it into the fading sky. Light and laughter are rising from the rooms far below; still farther below that, the lights of the city are emerging in the settling darkness. When you were here, half an hour ago, you lit a lamp for me. The breeze makes it waver now and turns the pages back to the beginning. This book is the past five years of my life. How can I close it now?I do not have the strength to go down into the noise and the light of the party. So I turn the pages of the book instead, tracing the words I wrote. There are parts of this story that still haunt my dreams, that repeat themselves in all my waking thoughts and refuse to let go. But I did not begin by writing about those things.I began with the book, and the snow.VWXThe snow began to fall as I walked home. It was dark, though barely five o’clock, and cold. My breath billowed white in the darkness and everything was quiet. Even the jangle and thud of the soldiers’ horses seemed deadened. The flakes were so cold that they almost burned where they touched my face, and they lodged on my clothes and stuck fast. I tried to brush them away and pulled my coat up tighter about my neck.I was used to snow—we all were—but not at the end of May. It looked set to stay cold for at least a week. We got more than enough snow in the winter.There was a sort of beauty in it, I suppose. The clouds had closed like a lid over the narrow squares of sky, and already the gas lamps were lit. The snow caked on their panes and glowed yellow. I stopped still, and then it was almost completely silent, without even the wet crunch of my footsteps. Quiet, not silent. Through the still air I could hear the feathery sound of the snowflakes settling.I looked up into the sky. The way the snowflakes swelled in toward my face made me feel as if I was rising. It got darker. It got colder.I started to think about going home, but I didn’t.I began to shiver, but I went on staring into the sky. It got still darker. I would have stood there all night, perhaps. It was like an enchantment. And I did not want to go home yet anyway. The constant frantic motion of the snowflakes made me dizzy, and my neck ached from looking upward. Still the snow fell. I was hypnotized.Suddenly I felt someone was near to me. The spell was broken. I was back in the street again.I looked around, but there was no one. Only a presence in the air, as if someone was hiding in the shadows. I felt sick suddenly. There were ghosts here perhaps, invisible spirits moving close by. I turned away.Before I had taken three steps, my foot met with something heavy and I stumbled. There was a black shape in the snow, spotted with the flakes my feet had thrown up. At first I thought it was a dead animal—a rat perhaps—lying there frozen.I bent closer. And I saw that it was not an animal at all but a book. Just a book. I reached out toward it cautiously. I could still feel a strange presence—someone else’s thoughts like a vapor in the air.I willed the book’s cover to lift itself, with the slightest tensing of my fingers and my mind. It didn’t stir. That was a trick I’d known for years, and it usually worked. Although it was only a cheap trick, no more. It did not even work on the Bible.I was suspicious of the book. I did not know if I should touch it. Perhaps it would be better to leave it where it was. I turned to walk away. But I could not. I was going to pick it up; I knew I was. It was unavoidable. There was no point in reasoning with myself, then.My fingers drew close to the dark leather of the cover even before I had decided. I watched them hover above it for a moment, as if they were someone else’s. I tried to pull my hand away. I couldn’t. For a second I was frightened. Then my fingers closed around the book, and at the same moment the presence vanished. I picked the book up and flipped the cover open.The pages were stiff and suntanned yellow, like sheets of bone. The first one was blank. I turned to the next. Nothing. The next one and the next one, too, were empty. I fanned the pages out loose, impatiently, bending the covers back almost to breaking point, so that the dry glue in the spine bristled. They were all blank.The weather had changed while I had looked away. The wind growled through the narrow streets, the pitch of its voice heightening. The snowflakes dashed at my face like ground glass. My jaw ached with cold, and my fingers on the book’s cover were raw and wet from the melting snow. I pushed the book into my coat pocket and set off for home.Later, when I held the book to the light of the oil lamp in the bedroom, I wondered if I should have left it where it was. There was a strangeness about it that made me uneasy. I had been sure that there was someone behind me in the street, and I could not help connecting the book with that presence. Perhaps it was a stupid thing to think. It was only an empty book.From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“A fantasy marked by invention rarely seen from authors this young. . . . A sneak peek at a rising talent.” Booklist