The Gateway Chronicles has reminded me of the advantages of waiting until a series is done before starting it. That is not particularly helpful for the authors and publishers who need the sales to keep the series going. But for the reader, not needing to wait a year between books is really nice. The Gateway Chronicles are being re-released this summer by the author independently after the rights reverted back to her. KB Hoyle has lightly edited and rereleased the books about every two weeks this summer.
The Enchanted is the fourth (of six) in the series and my favorite so far. I have commented in a number of other reviews that I read for characters more than action and The Enchanted, while still having action, is much more about character development and relationships than action. The characters are older now and the maturity shows, although they are still teenagers.
In earlier books, characters often thought about themselves first and made bad decisions because of it. In The Enchanted, the bad decisions are primarily about trying to protect others. The reader can see why the bad decisions are made, because we can read international motivations, but the other characters are still hurt by what they view as (and sometimes is) betrayal.
The Enchanted is not a romance book, but much of the plot revolves around Darcy and Tellius’ relationship that has been prophesied as part of how the kingdom will be freed from evil. Both of their reservations about being pushed together to marry because of the prophecy have faded away as they genuinely do fall in love. But tragedy is not far away and each has secrets that they fear sharing for one reason or another. The story does not only involve Darcy and Tellius, but they are certainly the center of the story.
I am outside of the target audience of this YA fantasy series. But I finished The Enchanted at 5 AM Sunday morning after not being after to fall back asleep after my 3 year old was up sick. And I stayed up until 2 AM a couple weeks ago to finish The White Thread. My reading can often be serious non-fiction, so even though the Gateway Chronicles are not fluffy, they have been a very enjoyable (and refreshing) reminder that fiction is an important part of a reading diet.