Review: Thrones and Bones: Nightborn

Nightborn (Thrones & Bones #2)
By Lou Anders
Publisher: Penguin Random House/Crown
Published: July 14, 2015
Copy received from publisher for an honest review. 

Goodreads Summary
From the author of Frostborn comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull.

Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. Not a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.

Meet Desstra. She’s in training to join the Underhand—the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be.

Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?

The novel includes instructions for playing the board game Charioteers. Visit ThronesandBones.com for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more!
This review has spoilers in it from book 1 if you have not read it. I want you to be aware!
Ahhh, back to the complicated lives of Karn and Thianna! I love it!

From Book 1, Frostborn, we met our duo. We had a backstabbing uncle who tried to kill Karn so he could inherit the family farm. He was taken care of by Helltoppr and Karn and his family were okay in the end.

We had Thianna, who is a half giant/half human who had women tracking her after she blew a horn that was her mother's.

Because of that horn, Karn and Thianna were running for their lives and ran into a dragon, Orm. The dragon and other creatures of the same type, we found out, were controlled with the horn. The goal of the women who were hunting Thianna in the first book was to get the horn so they could still control the creatures. The creatures, however, wanted the horn destroyed. That was done!

Come to Book 2, Nightborn, we found out there's a second horn. Yowzas! The dragon, Orm, sent Thianna on a quest to find and destroy the horn. Karn was also recruited after Thianna went missing.

As Karn went on his long journey to find his friend, he found more riddles and a new "friend." The new friend, Desstra, was a dark elf that we met in the beginning of Nightborn (hence the title). She had disguised herself as a wood elf to fit into the city they were in. He thought she was a friend trying to help him find Thianna, but she was part of a group of dark elves trying to find the second horn.

Thianna and Karn were eventually reunited. She had been held captive by the group of dark elves. The pair were together, but left by the dark elves to be killed. Of course, they escaped! They're an awesome duo!

All through their quest to find the horn, they met more people and challenging situations. Their friendship was the top priority. Karn looked for Thianna and didn't hesitate because she was his friend.

This book ended with the pair having a third person with them...Desstra! She didn't believe that she had to kill, hurt, or trick people like the other dark elves. She decided to stay with Karn and Thianna. And, they let her stay with them.

The adventures and events (chariot fighting, y'all!!!) were amazingly described and I could see the images clearly in my head. This book was definitely a movie for my brain. Lou Anders is a great fantasy storyteller!

I am still thoroughly enjoying this series and I cannot wait for the next book! Again, if you enjoy middle grade, fantasy, adventure, or friendship, this is a book and series for you.
Karn and Thianna are sticking with the 4 Mickeys from me! Their adventures and the story were great!

Review: Thrones & Bones: Frostborn

Frostborn (Thrones & Bones #1)
By Lou Anders
Publisher: Penguin Random House/Crown
Published: August 5, 2014
Copy received from publisher for an honest review. 

Goodreads Summary
Meet Karn. He is destined to take over the family farm in Norr√łngard. His only problem? He’d rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones.

Enter Thianna. Half human, half frost giantess. She’s too tall to blend in with other humans but too short to be taken seriously as a giant.

When family intrigues force Karn and Thianna to flee into the wilderness, they have to keep their sense of humor and their wits about them. But survival can be challenging when you’re being chased by a 1,500-year-old dragon, Helltoppr the undead warrior and his undead minions, an evil uncle, wyverns, and an assortment of trolls and giants.
 
It has been a while since I've read and reviewed a book. I am glad this opportunity presented itself because I honestly enjoyed Frostborn. The story definitely took me back a few years to when I used to play an online RPG. My heart smiled and my memories came rushing back. 

In Frostborn, Lou Anders created a fictional world with a bit of mythology and fantasy figures. Think Lord of the Rings, but for a younger crowd.

Our story begins with a typical boy who has no desire to take over his family's farm. He would much rather be a kid and play his favorite game, Thrones and Bones. Each year, Karn's family travels to meet and trade with the frost giants. This year, Karn meets Thianna, a half-giant (half human, half giant). Since they're the only 2 "kids", they decide to hang out.

While they're playing and talking, they develop kind of a friendship. I loved that Thianna took pride and was happy each time Karn called her big or tall. Since she was a half-giant, she wasn't near as tall as the giants and was often made fun of by some of the younger giants.

When we get to the mystery involving a spirit and Karn's [evil] uncle, something bad happens. Karn is then on the run!

When the giants get back to their home, there is a group of women hunting for Thianna. She, also, is then on the run!

The two of them, fortunately, end up together while they're running and hiding.

Once together, the two manage to get into trouble and run into creatures that no one wants to run into. However, since they were together, they were able to survive. If not together, they wouldn't have made it individually. Thianna had some frost magic and brute force, whereas Karn had brains and thinking skills.

I really enjoyed that the two of them really relied on one another. They built a fantastic friendship, even though they were running for their lives. I was turning pages so quickly because I was so worried (and excited) as to what was going to come at them next. Karn and Thianna formed an everlasting and strong connection.

If you are a fan of middle grade, RPGs, fantasy, LotR, or even The Lion King, you will enjoy Frostborn! Yes, The Lion King! There were so many parallels that it made my little Disney heart pitter-patter!

 
Frostborn gets a solid 4 Mickeys from me. It was an adventurous and entertaining read.
Praise for Thrones and Bones: Frostborn:
“Future fans of Tolkien and George R. R. Martin can happily cut their serial-fantasy teeth on this first book of an eventual series.” —Kirkus Reviews 
“A fun, fast-paced, and highly enjoyable tale.” —Garth Nix, bestselling author of the Abhorsen trilogy
“A powerful, fast-paced tale. . . . The setting is rich, the characters well-defined, and the danger ever-paramount.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred
“An excellent choice for readers new to the genre. The themes of staying true to oneself, teamwork, and individuality will resonate with readers.” —School Library Journal
“The most delightful fantasy I have read in ages. . . . Put me on the waiting list for book 2!” —Amy Plum, international bestselling author of the Die For Me series