The final steps in an adventurous journey, Kyra Johnson
03 May, 2021
Golden City is the third and final book in S R Manssen’s Realm Trilogy, where Freya completes the final steps of her journey with the help of the Watchers, her family, friends and her fellow Adelphi. The Order of the Adelphi are where the Watchers come from, in Tyrelia – the land ruled by the just Ancient. The leader of the Adelphi is Brother Nyx, who Freya knew as the Hermit before starting her training at the Temple.
At this sacred place, Freya and her friends learn to use their talking stones, turn themselves invisible and warp between Law Pillars in Tyrelia. Along the way, more people join the Order and begin their training. Freya also earns the incredible Armour of Tyrelia, something which will help and protect her when she goes to free everyone from the Golden City, which is under the rule of the treacherous Master.
Meanwhile, Watchers Saff and Thyst attempt to rebuild the bridge across the Chasm in order to reach the Wall and pass through to Tyrelia. They do this with the help of the Cave People, but are unable to complete the task because of attacks from the Guards. Watcher Rube is also still slipping in and out of the Golden City, seeing Freya’s family and their neighbours. Unexpectedly, their neighbours are forced to move up to Level Two of the Golden City, and Jack does as well with his friends. Things are starting to get more and more difficult for Rube and Freya’s family to communicate about their plans to help Freya and the Adelphi to free everyone from the Golden City.
Eventually, the time comes, and despite all of the things that have gone wrong, the Adelphi begin their storm through the Golden City. Can they release the people from the Master’s tyranny and take them to the free land of Tyrelia? Read the book to find out…
I think the aim of this book is similar to that of Tyrelia, but it has a few other smaller lessons throughout the story. One includes to never give up, even when times are tough. Freya demonstrates this several times when she is training at the Temple of the Adelphi, when she doubts herself about being able to free everyone from the Golden City. On some occasions, she is very close to giving up, but she doesn’t and perseveres all the way through.
Later, in the Golden City, more lessons are learned. These are to resist overusing your power over others and bragging, controlling your temper and many more. The lessons come and go quickly, due to Freya passing through the levels of the Golden City – which each have some sort of theme – but she and others come close to letting the feeling of temptation and other things take over their heart and mind. If it had, they may not have been as successful in their journey.
Freya changed throughout the book because of the times when she doubted or thought badly of herself. Willow also experienced some of this throughout her training, along with being bullied by a fellow Adelphi. Watcher Thyst started feeling sad because of the death of another Watcher. Most of the other characters stayed the same, though some new ones were introduced. They were mainly the new Adelphi, most of which were quite the braggy type and less kind than Freya or Willow.
Jack, on the other hand, was the character whose change surprised me the most. At the start of the Realm Trilogy, I found Jack a nice enough character. But throughout the books, he changed into a rather rude young adult. It is most likely caused by his father being taken away from him for a while, but he even refused his own sister when she offered to take him to Tyrelia, and he said he would rather stay in the Golden City with the Master. Furthermore, he tried to stop Freya and others from leaving the Golden City, even though it was their own choice. I decided I did not like Jack very much as a character, which I think is what the author was trying to achieve. The last character which was only mentioned in one of the final chapters, was the Master himself. I think his appearance was described well.
Golden City was my favourite of the Realm Trilogy, mainly because of the build-up and that everything was falling into place. I think this book had a good pace and an adventurous plot. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading fantasy adventures. I give it 4.5/5 stars.
- Kyra Johnson lives in Greymouth.