The second installment of The Paladin Prophecy series, Alliance, picks up right where book one left off; having unearthed the Knights of Charlemagne, Will and his gang begin drawing connections between their school, the Knights, and themselves. Unlike book one, which featured a mostly one-dimensional plot, each event in Alliance seems to tie into a bigger picture involving the Hierarchy and the Other Team.
Will West leads a vapid, ordinary lifestyle, lives in an ordinary house, and has ordinary parents. Unknowingly, however, Will catches the interest of an elite, private academy for high school students like himself. In doing so, he breaches Rule #3 of his father’s rulebook: Don’t draw attention to yourself.
Later Will learns that the school is not the only thing after him and he enrolls in order to escape the dangers facing him outside of campus grounds. As Will delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding the school and his past, he reveals more than he had bargained for; it is up to Will and his four roommates to uncover the truth behind recent events.
The characters retain the same wit and humor previously presented in book one. Their conversations mimic that of a modern teenage group; the verses are both realistic and natural, making Will and his friends seem like actual people rather thanmere figments of the author’s imagination.
I admit, however, that it took me a while to adapt to Frost’s casual writing style.Alliance is definitely a lot less dramatic than the first book; while book one was packed with intense action and a constant sense of danger, book two follows a much slower pace. Much of the time is spent exploring new areas and going on various journeys. At some parts the story does feel like a bit of a drag; the underground adventure, for example, takes far longer than it should, and Nepsted’s big reveal is a disappointment.
Book two seems to focus more on setting the stage for future events rather than resolving current conflicts. The plot remained at a standstill until the second half of the novel and Frost introduces many new discoveries without first explaining the previous ones.
That being said, there are still numerous plot twists that caught me completely by surprise. Despite the hints that Frost drops throughout the novel, I was fully unprepared for the traitor and his/her betrayal. Looking back, the signs should have been obvious.
Frost ends book two on a cliffhanger, just as he does for the first book.The ending is unexpected and introduces a whole new array of questions that leave the reader waiting in suspense until book three is released.
Overall Alliance is not as brilliant as the first book; it fails to resolve many of the blaring issues and is fairly slow in some parts. The plot is more relaxed and laidback; the constant threat of imminent danger is replaced with more emphasis oncharacter development and the exploration of new areas. It does, however, presentits own set of mysteries that add to the previous ones, doubling the suspense for the third book in the Paladin Prophecy series. For those who love a good conspiracy story, I highly recommend “Alliance.”