Eos, Jan 2004, 7.99, 455 pp.
Nobody knows much about the Ancients except that their minds were so powerful that they had the mental ability to change energy into matter. However with all their power they still ended up destroying themselves. All that is left of them are some ancient ruins and eight rose gold rings that give the wearer the ability to use their minds in ways similar to the ancients. Thanks to the rose gold ring that Matthew Lewin wore, he was able to stop Karas Duren and his minions, the Orlocks, from conquering his country.
Matthew is in Sennia where King Gaul and his counterpart in Elgaria try to keep the ring wearer out of jail for killing the man who murdered his father. While at the palace, statues come to life and try to kill Matthew. He reasons that an unknown enemy has a ring and his fears are confirmed when the ring the church was guarding turns up missing. When traitors to the crown plan to overthrow the king, the only hope to see justice prevail rests on Matthew's shoulders, a burden that would break a lesser man.
Matthew has matured from the time he first used the ring to stop a war (see THE FIFTH RING). His current trials and tribulations in THE EMERALD CAVERN make him even stronger and wiser than he was before he reached Sennia. There is plenty of action but author Mitchell Graham doesn't ignore his characters. They are well-developed and easily understood, heroes and villains alike. It is going to be hard to wait for the next book in this trilogy because there are questions the audience wants answered now. Mr. Graham is a superb storyteller with a colorful imagination.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner