Second Son is book two in the Minstrel's Song series. I read book one - King's Warrior - a year or so ago and really enjoyed it, especially the character Brant. Mysterious, stern, slightly gloomy - pretty much everything I like in a character. When I found out book two was going to be Brant's story before King's Warrior takes place I was delighted.
Rhoyan is the second son of the king and queen. For years there has never been a second prince born and gossip flies as his birth fits with an ancient prophecy about a second son saving the kingdom. Rhoyan spends his young life unaware of the expectation being placed on him. All he cares about his having adventures with is older brother - who is also his best friend. But with so much being placed on him, it is only a matter of time before he and his brother learn about the prophecy, one which will forever change their lives.
Since I knew what happened to the characters, since this a prequel to book one, I didn't think I would be surprised a lot by this book - or saddened by it. I knew the brothers' fate, so I thought I would be able to handle their story as boys together. I was wrong.
Even knowing what was coming, when it actually started to happen I was still sad. And there were still plenty of surprises, though even if there hadn't been I wouldn't have minded. (This was Brant's story after all, I got to spent 400 pages with him, who cares about being shocked?) (Like I said though, there were surprises. Sometimes they were jaw dropping surprises.)
There was also a lot of action and some amazing friendship moments. And sorrow. I almost cried in about three parts, and at the end I had tears in my eyes - mostly because I knew what happened to everyone in King's Warrior...
A lot of the book is about Brant's travels. He is very restless and goes far and wide, meeting people and fighting Hydras - yes, Hydras, because he is cool - and Dragons. A lot of the side characters he meets are fun and I was sad whenever he parted ways from them. One or two I was especially sad to say good bye too.
There was also one part in the book where I greatly admired Jenelle, who I know loves The Lord of the Rings. A lot.
In the book the characters are traveling and hear trouble behind them and one says, "Horses! Behind us! Off the road now!" When I was reading it I was wondering the extent of self control Jenelle might have had to use NOT to say, "Off the road! Quick!"
On that note, I believe she was able to sneak in a Lord of the Rings' reference later in the book. A wizard is talking about someone and says, "He is a relation of your mother's, son of a third cousin twice removed." (Like I said, I don't know if it is a sneaked in reference, but it made me giggle and hope I'm not the only Author who tries to slyly sneak in references into books.)
After finishing Second Son I wanted to start King's Warrior and read it again. Sadly, my reading list was too long, but I plan to re-read both. This has fast become one of my top favourite Fantasy series and I am already bouncing around waiting for book three.
For anyone who loves Fantasy and Dragons and heroes - and hilarious proposals - I strongly suggest this book.
You can find Jenelle's website HERE!!!!!