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The Orokon

- Characterisation - Themes - Setting -
- Reviewers Opinion - Recommendations - Summary -

The Orokon is 5 book series:

1. The Harlequin's Dance (1997)
2. The King and Queen of Swords (1998)
3. Sultan of the Moon and Stars (1999)
4. Sisterhood of the Blue Storm (2000)
5. Empress of the Endless Dream (2001)

It is not a series for the feint hearted. The book is somewhat bizarre, as well as intense, and graphically describes numerous sexual encounters and violence.

The series follows the adventure of Jem, a boy born on the wrong side of the sheets, as well as a cripple. He lives with his pious aunt and ill mother in a small town on the outskirts of civilisation in a town called Irion. He befriends a fey girl called Cata who lives in the Wildwood with her father Silas, much to the disapproval of his aunt.

The book is also dominated by the gods, particularly the children of the father god Orok. Each god and goddess has a mystic crystal that embodies their power, but they have been lost over time. When Jem finds the Crystal of Koros, he is set upon a quest to find the remaining 4 to keep them from an evil enchanter who has returned after being vanquished centuries before.

Characterisation:

All of the characters within the series undergo extensive character development and are well portrayed, each having a distinct personality.

Major Players:

Jem - a vexing and a cripple. He undergoes the most character development and is the key driving force in the series.

Cata - a fey child of the Wildwood with the ability to speak to animals and has a natural affinity with them. Jem's beloved and subjected to Polty's lusts, she is a cause of tension between the two.

Polty - Jem's childhood bully. He undergoes many changes throughout the series. He is sexually charged and violent but deceptive. He lusts after Cata.

Bean - Polty's side kick and his opposite in every way. He adores Polty even thought he knows his friend is often in the wrong.

Raj - a vaga, Jem's best friend. Not as hotheaded as Jem, he often urges him to caution, though his need to protect his friend often drives him to do rash things.

The Gods & their Crystals:

Koros - purple
Viana - green
Theron - red
Javendar - blue
Agonis - gold

Each god has a set of people who worship them. Jem, and the people of Irion worship Agonis, the most favoured son of the father god Orok. Koros is worshiped by travelling Vagas, who are shunned by the people of Agonis. Viana is the goddess worshiped by Cata and others who live within the woodlands. Theron is the god of the people of the desert, whilst Javendar is the goddess of the sea.

Themes:

Whilst the main theme of the series is traditional (a protagonist on a quest to save the land from an evil-doer) the way it is written is very original, if strange. The story continues in a rather linear way and is quite a slow read. It wont pull you through quickly, but retains enough originality, as well as feeling for the main characters to keep the reader interested.

Setting:

The series is set within El-Orok, and in his search for the crystals, Jem and his companions must travel to distant lands to retrieve them. For most of the series the lands are completely believeable. They are well constructed, with their own cultures and people. However, toward the end of the book it becomes less believeable even with the intervention of "magic" - particaully the fourth book.

Reviewers Opinion:

While this book is classed and fantasy and has some of the classic elements, such as magic, it is not a typical fantasy book, and such readers may find this book bizarre. It has strong sexual content which may be disturbing to younger readers as well as violence, though this is not particularly graphic.

Whilst the general plot is sound, it isn't particularly satisfying and the reader may be left disappointed at the conclusion.

Recommendations:

Because of the adult themes in this book, I would not recommend this series to readers under 16 years of age.

If you enjoy this series, or are looking for something similar, you may enjoy:

Julia Gray - The Guardian Cycle

Summary:

Characterisation - 9/10
Plot - 5/10
Credibility - 3/10
Setting - 7/10

Overall - 24/40

My rating: 6 stars