Mention the name Elizabeth Wein and if you’re familiar with young adult books, you’ll probably think of Code Name: Verity . I’m not saying that’s a problem, because I fully agree that it’s an amazing book. With it’s amazing friendship, unreliable narrators, action packed plot and stunning dialogue, how could I say otherwise? In fact it’s even on my list of Top 5 YA Must-Reads (Even If You’re an Adult). It’s sequel, Rose Under Fire is pretty well known too.
But how many of you have hard of the Lion Hunter’s series? <scans the room for hands up> How many of you have actually read them? <watches hands drop one by one> Yes, I thought so.
I can admit it, the covers aren’t as gorgeous as the Cod Name: Verity ones but that’s really no excuse. The series is set in the Medieval Period, with the first book set in the mighty Great Britain and the other four set in rich and exotic African Aksum and Hiymar. Elizabeth Wein’s distinctive, almost lyrical (without venturing into the purple-prose zone) writing brings the world to life with it’s gritty details of dirty streets, brutal violence, and familial jealousy alongside opulent palaces, egoistic princes and the deep loyalty between family. Why wouldn’t you want to read the series?
As if that isn’t enough, Elizabeth Wein has a horde of strong, three-dimensional, compelling characters (both male and female in this series) narrating their plots. When you read these books, you’ll find yourself enthralled by the twisting plots of intrigue and trying to puzzle out the motives of each of the characters. Full of spies, conspiracies and snarled politics, in this series it’s important to remember that no one’s good and no one’s evil but everyone has their own agenda.
Go ahead. Read this series if you want historical fiction which keeps you eyes glued to the pages and your fingers frantically turning. Read the series if you want to read a dark young adult book with unique and brilliant characters that will leave you breathless. Read the series if you want to be transported into a hauntingly beautiful Medieval world. Even if you don’t, read it anyways. You’re not likely to regret it.
Reading order: (covers above)
- The Winter Prince
- Coalition of Lions
- The Sunbird
- The Lion Hunter
- The Empty Kingdom