Author Herbie Brennan spins another adventure fantasy in his second novel of
The Faerie War Chronicles, The Purple Emperor. Written for youth and young adults, (ages 13-20+) this 434-page book contains several species of peoples, including several each of Faeries, Endlogs, Humans, Demons and more – from at least two worlds.
Earth, commonly called “Analogue World,” is something like a parallel planet to the Faerie Realm where Princess Holly Blue, her brother, Prince Pyrgus, and their half-brother, Comma, reside.
Teenaged Pyrgus is about to be crowned Emperor against his will, forced by circumstances to fill his dead father’s place. However, just days before the Coronation is about to happen, someone steals the former Emperor’s body. Soon Madame Cynthia, a loyal spy, informs the royal family
of an assassination plot. Trusted friends from the Analogue World, Alan Fogerty - the chief advisor of the royal house - and Henry Atherton, are called upon to aid in the quest to save the world from ruin.
Hairstreak, a Faerie of the Dark and one of the royal family’s greatest enemies, calls upon his cronies Jasper Chalkhill and Herald Dingy,
conspiring to free his insane sister: the former Empress, Quercussia. Yet the demon Prince of Darkness, Beleth, conspires with Brimstone to unleash the demons of Hael upon a despised enemy. Meanwhile, Wyrms secretly plan a revolution against them all. It seems everyone want to control the purple throne.
The Queen of the Forest Faeries comes to the aid of the royal family, even though it means revealing her people, their strength and
their magic to outsiders. Her daughter, Nymphalis, joins the small group sent on this important quest. With some unexpected help from good-hearted individuals like the Silk Mistresses, wizards, and the Endlog Flapwazzle, Henry and his friends get through some very tough situations.
Multiple plots within plots, betrayal around every corner, kingdoms within kingdoms, even a dungeon maze await readers. Being a sequel, The Purple Emperor may be confusing at first for those who have not had a chance to read the first book in this series, The Faerie Wars.
But after the first four chapters, the excitement and interest peak and hold steady for most of the book. Unfortunately, the pace slows dramatically about
three-quarters into the book, increasing only a little for the closing.
Spiced occasionally with well-timed humor, this story is one
of several unique fantasies for young adults that I have had the pleasure to review, though I wouldn’t rate it higher than 3 out of 5 stars. Nicely set up for the third book in this series, The Purple Emperor concludes with potential conspiracy plots for the purple throne, anticipation over the unleashed Forest Faerie power lingers and romance is in the air.