Beyond the Valley of Thorns

Beyond the Valley of Thorns

Book 2 in The Land of Elyon Alexa Daley thought her troubles were over when she defeated the man who had threatened to bring down Bridewell from within. But now that the walls around her land have fallen, a new, unexpected threat has risen from outside. Suddenly, Alexa is involved in a battle much, much larger than her own life . . . a battle in which she is destined to pl...

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Title:Beyond the Valley of Thorns
Author:Patrick Carman
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Beyond the Valley of Thorns Reviews

  • MC

    THIS WAS AMAZING!! All though there description or the ogres was a little gross. I loved it anyways.

  • Amalia

    One of the best things about fantasy books are the surprises and mysterious ways in which the history of the story can be rewritten. Unfortunately, I can't say anything more without ruining the book for you.

    As always, I find second books more difficult than firsts. The beginning of a series usually has all of the fun, lighthearted magic. It draws you in and makes you feel safe yet interested and curious about the world the author has created. We often don't really meet the bad guys until book 2.

    One of the best things about fantasy books are the surprises and mysterious ways in which the history of the story can be rewritten. Unfortunately, I can't say anything more without ruining the book for you.

    As always, I find second books more difficult than firsts. The beginning of a series usually has all of the fun, lighthearted magic. It draws you in and makes you feel safe yet interested and curious about the world the author has created. We often don't really meet the bad guys until book 2. This was the case in D'Lacey's

    ; and, though we caught a glimpse of the evil lurking out there in

    , we were truly thrust into the midst of the battle between good and evil in

    .

    To be honest, I was as nervous as I was excited to read this book. Carman went easy on me, though, and I was able to thoroughly enjoy Alexa's incredible quest. Again, there was an emphasis on trust. Who can you trust? I was anxious for Alexa as she made her decisions on who to trust. Until the person (or animal) was proven a friend, I couldn't relax.

    The real magic in this book was in the storytelling. By the end, I was as drained and exhausted as Alexa was. I also appreciated the break, even though, her adventure is far from over. I am happy with the conclusions achieved in this book and look forward to reading the next one, even as I enjoy my rejuvenating rest from the Land of Elyon.

  • Bella

    I loved it to death!! AND OH MY WORD THE END IS SOOOO GOOD!!!! Can't wait for the next book!!

  • Jessi

    From School Library Journal:

    Grade 4-6–Mystery and adventure entwine in this second book in the series. Alexa and her odd companions (two men, one of whom is two feet tall; a squirrel; a wolf; a hawk; and a giant) share suspenseful and horrific experiences, such as escaping the Black Swarm (hundreds of deadly bats) and running from zombielike ogres on flame-covered hills with only jagged rocks and the Lonely Sea below. Dangerous scenes such as these lend excitement and fear as the group attempts

    From School Library Journal:

    Grade 4-6–Mystery and adventure entwine in this second book in the series. Alexa and her odd companions (two men, one of whom is two feet tall; a squirrel; a wolf; a hawk; and a giant) share suspenseful and horrific experiences, such as escaping the Black Swarm (hundreds of deadly bats) and running from zombielike ogres on flame-covered hills with only jagged rocks and the Lonely Sea below. Dangerous scenes such as these lend excitement and fear as the group attempts to defeat Abaddon, an evil ogre who asserts his murderous will through lesser ogres and bats while chained in a great pit at the edge of the Tenth City. Carman provides enough background information for those who have not read the first installment. The text is poetic, full of childlike wonder, and well written, but the occasional lapse in action may make this novel unsuitable for some reluctant readers. These adventures seem daunting at times to mischievous Alexa, but fantasy fans will eagerly join in her quest.–Jessi Platt

  • Emma

    2.75

    Another reread so that I can finish this series soon. The last two books are the ones I haven't read and they've been on my shelf for about 3 or 4 years. I'm hoping that they will be more interesting since I haven't read them.

    So this book was slightly less boring than the last one. I guess I like some of the characters introduced in this book even though they all feel very paper. I don't know if that made sense.

    I could definitely feel the religious vibes pretty strongly in this one, especi

    2.75

    Another reread so that I can finish this series soon. The last two books are the ones I haven't read and they've been on my shelf for about 3 or 4 years. I'm hoping that they will be more interesting since I haven't read them.

    So this book was slightly less boring than the last one. I guess I like some of the characters introduced in this book even though they all feel very paper. I don't know if that made sense.

    I could definitely feel the religious vibes pretty strongly in this one, especially with Elyon's voice "speaking" to Alexa or whatever. It didn't really add or detract from my enjoyment of the book, I just noticed the parallels between some biblical stories.

    I plan to read the other two fairly soon, honestly to get this series done with.

  • Shantelle

    So, after loving the first book in THE LAND OF ELYON series, I was really excited to read

    .

    In the second installment, it's been about a year since Alexa Daley discovered the secret stone, animals, and sinister plots. She's back where she was before ... awaiting another adventure. And one comes indeed. But this new escapade is far more darker and dangerous than the last.

    ... And you're probably wondering about my three-star rating. Well, it means I liked this book. I enj

    So, after loving the first book in THE LAND OF ELYON series, I was really excited to read

    .

    In the second installment, it's been about a year since Alexa Daley discovered the secret stone, animals, and sinister plots. She's back where she was before ... awaiting another adventure. And one comes indeed. But this new escapade is far more darker and dangerous than the last.

    ... And you're probably wondering about my three-star rating. Well, it means I liked this book. I enjoyed it. I'm excited to continue this series! But it just wasn't everything that the first book was. Some parts dragged a little for me, personally. It was missing the charm, intricate-ness, and thrilling nature of

    . I don't know. It wasn't horrible; I still

    it!! But it was just different. Maybe it needed a bigger ending, which means I just need to go read the next (last) two books! :D

    We see the Christian allegory coming to surface in this book. Which is exciting! ^_^ Some parts I wasn't exactly sure where the author was going ... but overall, it's good.

    Ooh, and some really cool things happened at the end. More mysteries being unraveled! Intrigue. Wonder. Things falling into place! I'm excited to see what the next book brings forth! :D

  • Dimitra

    This one was more action packed than the first one. But it was harder for me to concentrate on the story... But I don't blame the writing. It was as good as the first.

    There were more characters and creatures introduced, more information about the history of the world in the series and some questions you may had, while reading the first one, were answered.

    The plot thickens... I will immediately start reading the third book to see what's going to happen!

    I enjoy the series very much, so far!

  • Kiri

    I'm not sure why I read this book - I thought its predecessor was only so-so. But it was lying around and the cover art is gorgeous so... I picked it up. I really want to like these books, as they feature adventure with a nose-in-the-books heroine. But the writing is just... clunky. This book has less of a moral center than the first one, and less cohesion all together. The continuity/logic gaps were distracting (Alexa complains about her unprotected shins getting scratched by bushes (even picki

    I'm not sure why I read this book - I thought its predecessor was only so-so. But it was lying around and the cover art is gorgeous so... I picked it up. I really want to like these books, as they feature adventure with a nose-in-the-books heroine. But the writing is just... clunky. This book has less of a moral center than the first one, and less cohesion all together. The continuity/logic gaps were distracting (Alexa complains about her unprotected shins getting scratched by bushes (even picking scabs), then later describes the ragged hem of her tunic reaching to her ankles (and what kind of tunic reaches to one's ankles?); the Valley of Thorns has a bunch of sharpened stakes sticking up out of the ground... with poison on top... seems designed to prevent something arriving from above? but what? why??; they set a fire which rages across a rock-strewn dirt scape.... burning what?). The battle with the giants/ogres is not only implausible but... well... gruesome. Overall, there's some noise and some suspense, but very little heart.

  • Emily Blatt

    I'm not sure why I expected the second book in this series to be different than the first but I guess it's the eternal optimist in me. I found the dialogue to be clunky again; it doesn't read well and I can't imagine a middle grader being able to follow it easily. It's too bad because I do enjoy Alexa and her adventures. I'm on the fence about reading the rest of the series. I want to know what happens but it doesn't feel worth the effort.

  • Kogiopsis

    So, I'm on a mission to reread a bunch of old series I never finished, and then actually finish them, and The Land of Elyon is the one I'm currently working on... and boy, did tiny!me not have very discerning taste. I mean, I always knew that I was completely and improbably oblivious to religious symbolism in books (I had to be

    that Narnia was religious - that clueless), but even ignoring that, this book is just... egregiously weak.

    Once again, the plot rests on people having made plans looo

    So, I'm on a mission to reread a bunch of old series I never finished, and then actually finish them, and The Land of Elyon is the one I'm currently working on... and boy, did tiny!me not have very discerning taste. I mean, I always knew that I was completely and improbably oblivious to religious symbolism in books (I had to be

    that Narnia was religious - that clueless), but even ignoring that, this book is just... egregiously weak.

    Once again, the plot rests on people having made plans loooong in advance for Alexa to Do Things, and once again I'm left wondering how in the world they knew she would be capable or even willing to embark on these adventures. (Granted, some of the plans were only made about a year before this book takes place, but still - trusting a girl just entering her teens as the sole savior of multiple societies?) This time, she's literally been upgraded to

    Elyon's chosen one, facing down minions of

    Abaddon, who are literally complete and pure Evil. (You can tell, because they're insane and sick. Ha. Hahaha. Hahahahahaha.)

    The thing about this is that not only is this not a subtle book, it's also not got a very reassuring religious message.

    So essentially: the omnipotent being is watching you suffer, but it's still your own damn problem and you'll get no help from him. Mmm. Right. I know this works for some people, and I don't want to disrespect the power of faith, but - I'm struggling here with what comfort there is in a downtrodden, abused people being told "just wait it out". It's cool, you're being killed, but just wait it out.

    Anyhow: technical stuff? Plot is weak and kind of dull, victory over the antagonists is achieved easily and with minimal cost (one character death, with an amount of mourning completely disproportionate to his actual significance or development), and it all just feels... hollow. At least the first book's antagonist was (on first reading) a surprise, and somewhat nuanced; this one is cardboard at best.

    I've got three more books left before I'm fully caught up, and then... I may just go ahead and sell these, honestly. The personal relevance they hold for me is kind of being outweighed by how

    they turned out to be.

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