Vox is the sixth book (eighth chronologically) in The Edge Chronicles. It is the second book in the Rook trilogy. It was published in 2003.
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
“‘I can see you all,’ Vox murmured gleefully. ‘There is nowhere to hide…’
Dark, swirling clouds loom over the Edge. High in the crumbling Palace of the Statues, little more than a prisoner of the all-powerful guardians of the Night, Vox Verlix watches them. And plots.”
“Wind Jackal. So that was the name of this prosperous adventurer who had built himself such a fine palace in what was once one of old Undertown’s more fashionable districts. Whatever had become of him? Rook wondered.
He returned to the wall, searching for further clues. There were similar plaque-like scrolls painted beneath each of the figures. The wife and mother was Hirmina. The youths, Lucius, Centix, Murix, Pellius, Martilius, and, smallest of all, Quintinius. Beneath them all, like a ribbon flapping in the breeze, a painted scroll revealed that this was the FAMILY ORLIS VERGINIX.
It must have been so nice to be part of such a family, Rook thought, to have brothers to play with; to grow up in the busy bustle of old Undertown, free from the tyranny of goblins or Guardians. His gaze lingered on the portrait of the youngest son. There was something about the dark eyes and forthright set of the jaw that seemed oddly familiar.”
“Rook remembered seeing a picture of Vox Verlix as a cloudwatcher apprentice; young, lean, and with a glint of naked ambition in his steely gaze. The bloated drunkard he had become was unrecognizable. Rook watched him with a mixture of pity and disgust as he heaved his great weight across the floor.”
Recommended Age Range: 12+ (A few violent scenes that may be more suited to 14+)
What I Liked:
Once again, this book is simply packed with action, cunning plots, devious schemes, and scary situations. It’s a thrilling ride from beginning to end and makes the reader eager to see what will happen in the third and final (of the Rook trilogy) book.
Stewart gets rid of the two main groups of antagonists in this book quite well. As gruesome and violent as their end was, the picture that Riddell drew of their fate was both chilling and spectacular. He makes it quite clear simply by facial expressions and body language that the two groups realize how hopeless their situation is. It’s the most memorable illustration in the book, in my opinion.
There’s quite a bit of foreshadowing in this book for the next one, something a reader might not notice if they haven’t read the series before. As I mentioned in my review of The Last of the Sky Pirates, this is what makes the Rook trilogy superior to the other two, in addition to the fact that it’s faster-paced (although there are still two Quint books to go, so I might change my mind).
The characters are still very well-developed, with the exception of the villains, unfortunately. Vox is perhaps the most nuanced, but even he is a bit flat.
What I Didn’t Like:
Vox Verlix: Evil mastermind or puppet? The book is entitled Vox, but Vox’s rule in this book is surprisingly disappointing. He’s a genius, sure, but I don’t know if I would call him a villain or even a character worth naming the book after. There is that one scary threat, but the way it’s carried out and eventually made reality isn’t even due to Vox (and that’s all I will say on that).
The one thing I’ve noticed about the Rook trilogy is that, unfortunately, all three books do tend to drag a bit in the middle. It’s worse in Sky Pirates, but it can get a bit slow in this book.
Vox continues the fast-paced action that was seen in The Last of the Sky Pirates, which bodes well for the last book in the trilogy. While lacking a bit in places, it is still a worthwhile read and one of the best in the series.
Coming Up Next: Freeglader