The Fifth Ring Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Fifth Ring

This is an epic adventure of a young boy named Mathew Lewin who finds a ring created by his ancestors. No ordinary ring, it enables him to turn thought into matter.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Through a bizzare series of events Mathew is set against the evil Karas Duren, king of the neighboring country, who wants not only to destroy Mathew's country, but to eliminate its very existence. With Duren and the shadowy, cannabalistic Orlocks chasing him, for reasons Mathew cannot understand, he and his companions, leave their home under the guidance of Father Thomas, a wonderful character people will take to immediately.

This is a fast paced action adventure that barely gives the reader time to breathe. Through a series of parallel scenes the two principal combatants are pulled relentlesly toward each other and into a titanic battle. Technology takes the place of magic here, but few will be able to tell the diffence.

Despite the quest-type theme of the book, it is very much about the growth of the Mathew Lewin, his friends, and their relationships.

The Fifth Ring, by Mitchell Graham is a debut book and the first a trilogy, scheduled for release January, 2003 from HarperCollins/Eos. It also won the presitgious Delmont-Ross prize for fantasy literature.

Easily one of the best novels to come along in years and years. Move over Robert Jordan.
The review of this Book prepared by Jennifer Holmes

Eos, Feb 2003, 7.50, 576 pp.
ISBN: 0060506512

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 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 feels 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.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Fifth Ring

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   a powerful magician Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   preventing/managing clash/war between govts/kingdoms Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   farmer    -   accused criminal Age:    -   a teen


Terrain    -   Mountains    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   during "Tolkien" (fairytime) times Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Fifth Ring

Mitchell Graham Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian