Goodreads: The Cloud Searchers
Series: Amulet #3
Emily, Navin, and their group of allies head to the lost city of Cielis to find the Guardian Council–the former rulers of Alledia and the Stonekeeper’s last hope for defeating the Elf King.
The third book in the Amulet series jumps right into the action, bringing readers on a whirlwind journey to find the lost city of Cielis–though most people do not believe it exists. The story follows a fairly predictable route, beginning in a sketchy drinking hole to find a crew crazy enough to attempt the deed and ending up in a magical whirlwind that has raged for centuries–because where else would you hide a city in the sky? Despite the well-worn tropes utilized in The Cloud Searchers, however, the book remains an engaging and even exciting read.
The characters help to keep the series feeling original even when readers recognize the specific sources from which Kibuishi draws and even when the roles of those characters seem stereotypical. Thus, though Emily fits nicely into young hero-in-training mold, Leon Redbeard serves as her older trainer/guide, and so on, their individual voices make them seem real rather than forced. Emily, for instance, has been developing nicely throughout the series, transforming from a regular girl concerned with her own problems to a determined heroine who recognizes the need to stay in Alledia despite the danger. She may be scared, but she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Her brother Navin, with his own important role in the resistance, promises similar development, though he sadly gets a little lost in this installment. A line or two of typical boyish excitement over an alien world is about all he gets to establish his personality. His moment to save the day, meanwhile, feels a little anticlimatic since we have seen it done before.
Perhaps the most interesting character in this book is Trellis, the prince of the Elves. Though Emily hesitates to trust him, he declares himself to have the same goal as she does and an uneasy alliance holds for the time being. Whether Trellis wishes to bring in an new era or peace once he defeats the Elf King or whether he simply wants to take his father’s place as tyrant is not a question any of the characters has yet asked, but right now I find it almost irrelevant. It is interesting enough to watch Trellis, having hit rock bottom, attempts to find his place in the world. I rather consider him the Prince Zuko of the series.
The Cloud Searchers is the strongest installment of the series yet, maintaining an evenly-paced plot that manages to bring together what seems to be the final cast of characters (as far as main ones go) while still providing a coherent plot full of mystery, danger, and excitement. I was not sure, after book two, when I would ever get around to continuing the series, but now that I have started again, I find myself surprisingly eager to learn what else lies in store for our heroes.