The Fifth Ring
by Mitchell Graham
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
576 pages; ISBN: 0060506512
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Over three thousand years ago, the powerful ancients gave every citizen a rose gold ring when they turned twenty. However, scientists realized the error and tried to rectify the mistake by destroying all but an octet of rings. Their desperate effort proved futile and civilization shattered.
In modern times, egomaniac King Karas of Alor-Satar stumbles across the rings and learns how to harness the power. He begins plans to rule the world. However, one ring escapes his notice. Through a series of events the FIFTH RING ends up on the finger of teenage fencing expert Mathew Lewin. Mathew quickly realizes that the ring contains powers that he slowly learns to use though he fears the jewelry. Between his rings and allies like the Orlocks, Karas starts his war with the only hope of his foes being an eighteen-year-old lad with no ancient text to guide him.
Title aside to Professor Tolkien, this novel is quite different than the Hobbit. The keys to this exciting futuristic fantasy reside in the prime characters seeming real and the alliances forged between nations feel authentic (similar to pre World War I). As detestable as Karas is he behaves like some twentieth century despots who lost no sleep over genocide. As heroic as Mathew seems, he will remind readers of people they know whom always care what happens to those around them. With a powerful story line that never allows the audience a moment to rest even for a pit stop, fans will demand that Mitchell Graham provide a sequel or two rather quickly.
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