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Beyonders: A World Without Heroes

Review

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes

Beyonders have made their way to the world of Lyrian before, but not quite the same way as 13-year-old Jason Walker. During his normal cleaning shift at the local zoo, Jason found himself being gobbled up by a hippopotamus. Rather than being digested, he was deposited on the banks of a river in Lyrian. Having no clue where he was or how he got there, he is reduced to wandering around, but not before witnessing some musicians plunge over a waterfall to their deaths. Disturbed by the scene, Jason finds refuge in the Repository of Knowledge and slowly learns of what happened. Sound strange? It only gets worse.

At the Repository of Knowledge, Jason learns that Lyrian is ruled by an evil and dangerous wizard called Maldor. Initially, Jason's only desire is to return home, but when he stumbles upon a special book that reveals the one and only way to defeat Maldor --- utter a special word in his presence --- he embarks on a quest to find all the parts of the word and end Maldor's tyranny. Thus begins a crazy and hairbrained journey that will lead him across all of Lyrian searching for the six parts of the word. His first stop leads him to the last person who attempted to defeat Maldor with the word: The Blind King.

The Blind King shares several important pieces of information with Jason. First, he tells him the next location of the next part of the word. He also makes him an honorary Lord and gives him a ring to signify his importance. Finally, he reveals to Jason that another Beyonder, a girl named Rachel, arrived in Lyrian at the same time. Together, Jason and Rachel encounter numerous obstacles to finding the parts of the word. These include a giant, man-eating crab, a swamp filled with poisonous slime, an eternal feast, and a host of characters that are as unique as Lyrian itself.

Twists and turns wait around every corner, and even though Jason and Rachel initially trust the many people they meet along the way, they soon learn that most of them are enemy spies for Maldor. Their efforts are rewarded, though, as they slowly piece together all parts of the word and wait for the right opportunity to use it. Just when they appear on the brink of success, startling truths are revealed, and Jason and Rachel must reevaluate everything they know and have learned. There's a reason Maldor has maintained control for so long, and the two Beyonders soon realize there is almost nothing they can do to stop him.

Brandon Mull has created a new and refreshing series that is sure to entice any and all fans of fantasy books. Beyonders is quirky, to say the least, and while the journey does eventually reach its predicted outcome, getting there is worth it. The inhabitants of Lyrian are interesting and unique, and don't even get me started on the food Jason eats at the eternal feast. There is a little bit of everything for everyone, and you're sure to relate to the longing of finding your way back home. The good news is that this is just the first book in the trilogy, so more adventures await!

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on March 15, 2011

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes
by Brandon Mull

  • Publication Date: March 15, 2011
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • ISBN-10: 141699792X
  • ISBN-13: 9781416997924