You may recall, in my review of the first Knightly Academy book, that I liked it but was sort of put off by the endless Harry Potter similarities. You may even recall that I said of book two:
"What I would truly like to see in the next books is for Violet/Robyn to pull away from the Harry Potter story arc and build her own non-referencing world. Honestly, no story which mimics Harry Potter will end up coming out well in the comparison so I wouldn't recommend it."Well, past me, there is still a heavy Harry Potter leaning (secret fighting club and discoveries about Henry's parents are the newest Harry Potter thefts.), but still I managed to thoroughly enjoy this book.
Sigh, however much it pains me to admit it, it appears I am more then capable of being wrong.
In book the second we see a growing discomfort and fear of the Nordlands starting to crop up among teachers and students at Knightly Academy. Although Henry's discoveries at the Partisan School convinced him war was at hand the authorities are not as convinced, and as long as the pact stands the students at Knightly will continue their peaceful training, much to Henry's frustration. Meanwhile now that first year is over and Henry, Rohan and Adam have proven themselves as knightly students, a strange conundrum has come up. Now that they're more popular why risk their places at knightly by continuing to illicitly hang out with Frankie?
Although friendships shift and change in book two, it is still my favourite part of Robyn/Violets books. Like Harry Potter, Henry Grim is a boy of his word who does well by all, if he can help it. His amusing side kick Adam (so very Ron like) and his issues with both bullies and Frankie are really what makes this story for me once again.
I still find the Nordlands and the strange issues with them a bit confusing as an enemy, but more became clear in The Secret Prince. As the title so thoroughly gives away, the discovery of the Secret Prince at the end of book two is the big cliff hanger and it was a great twist (even though you see it coming from the moment you first pick up the book), and it should spice up book three considerably.
In the end after rolling my eyes considerably over the new wealth of Harry Potter references I still thoroughly enjoyed myself, so if you can look past a little light plagiarism I highly recommend you continue on with this series.
PS- The Knightly Academy website is still woefully out of date, although more up to date then previously. According to today's headlines I can pre-order my copy of The Secret Prince today! for it's June release date. Someone needs to let Robyn/Violet and her webmaster know it's August.
The Secret Prince, by Violet Haberdasher
Published by Aladdin, June 2011
My copy acquired at the BBC
But The Secret Prince on Amazon