The second novel in Lynette Noni’s young adult fantasy series takes place in year 2 of heroine Alex’s studies at the mystifying Akarnae Academy. All the gang returns and Noni wastes no time in moving things along. In the opening scene, Alex has already arrived back in the land of Medora from her summer vacation.
Each book in The Medoran Chronicles is an individual adventure, but the overarching story continues. It’s that of the evil Medoran outcast, Prince Aven, and his quest to use Alex to return to his lost city of Meya to claim the throne. With her newly found supernatural gifts, young Alex attends the Academy to fine-tune her powers, alongside friends Jordan, Bear and DC, each who have gifts of their own.
Raelia introduces a host of new and equally wonderful characters, while expanding on the lives and personalities of the original circle of friends. Noni once again shows her strength in character development, this time adding a new layer as apparent foes become friends and vice versa. This added layer makes it difficult to know who can be trusted with the exception of one ongoing character whose change of allegiance is unintentionally obvious.
Year 2 at Arkanae Academy has Alex improving her skills in leaps and bounds while learning to rely on teamwork more than ever before. Always the adventuress though, Alex faces bigger and more daring encounters, ending on a cliff-hanger that leaves the release of Book 3 too far away.
The challenge for Noni as The Medoran Chronicles continues will be to explain Alex’s increasingly supernatural gifts in a world that insists everything is based in science. She’s done a fine job so far and I have no doubt this complex world she’s created will have a satisfying explanation in the end. Her penchant for detail is admirable, without bogging down the story with lengthy exposition.
Raelia is yet another page-turner from one of Australia’s exciting new authors of young adult fiction. The characters are fun, the dialogue is witty, the adventure is real, and the tension remains high for most of the book.
Bring on volume three!
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 8
Publisher: Pantera Press
Release Date: 1 April 2016