Book Review: The Traitor's Trap

The Traitor's Trap (Sebastian and the Hibernauts #2)
Author: Brendan Murphy
Published by: Phantasm
Publication Date: 3 November 2015
Page Count: 282 
Buy it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon
Source: e-book provided by author
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

The Traitor's Trap opens up about a month after the first book, Beyond the Gloaming, ended. Things are finally returning to normal, or as normal as living at a castle in a dreamworld can be, after the turmoil Petipace's seeming betrayal and disappearance caused. Though, not everyone is convinced Petipace was the traitor.  Sebastian and his Hibernaut friends soon find themselves on a perilous journey across the lands of Morpheus and Phobitor, never knowing where a spy or worse, someone out to murder them, may lie in wait. Their trek is long and hard and they meet many new creatures along the way, visit new and enchanting places, but they must reach the end and succeed or Phobitor's forces could decimate those under Morpheus' command. Sebastian is the key to it all, he is a legend and a god himself, his littlest fingers on his six-fingered hands holding magical powers that have yet to emerge.  In the end, he must choose who to believe, who to fight for, and if he is willing to kill to meet those ends.

The second book in Brendan Murphy's magical world is yet another beautifully-written masterpiece. Murphy has an almost lyrical way with words, even the dialogue flowing between the characters effortlessly. I love the way the story is written, truly enjoying every word. It almost makes you feel like Murphy took great care and consideration with each word. I'm sure he needed to do a bit of research into how people spoke in earlier times, and I believe it worked brilliantly.

I enjoyed how descriptive Murphy was from the club he uses, or the sword presented to him, to the forests or vast arid landscapes they traverse, to the people and creatures they encounter. They were all so easy to picture and several times I thought while reading that this would make a great movie. I would love to see them all brought to life.

I felt the first book was a bit slow in places. There was a lot of backstory and history to be taught to Sebastian, and also lots of training.  This second book in the series, I believe is much more fast-paced.  In the first book, they have their journey early on, the rest of the time is at the palace, learning and studying. In this one, the adventuring again starts almost immediately, but it never slows down, culminating in a fierce battle at the end.

It was fun and frustrating, constantly trying to deduce who the traitor is, was it really Petipace, or someone else setting him up. I love to make guesses when there are mysteries, and a lot of times I can guess correctly. I love when I can't figure it out, I feel like that makes for a good story. The Traitor's Trap kept me guessing till the end, and I loved the final twists that revealed who it was.

I am definitely looking forward to reading the next books in this six-book fantasy series. I cannot wait to see what other adventures await Sebastian and the Hibernauts.

One Last Thought: There were several glaring grammatical errors throughout the book, one even being the wrong name used in place of another (Petipace written instead of Phobitor), words switched around, etc. The book I feel needs a fresh pair of eyes, or a new edit to fix them.

Favorite Thing About the Book: I love that even though he was tested several times, Sebastian never gave in, he stuck to morals and refused to become a pawn. Even though Sebastian seems to be a coward, zoning out whenever something bad was happening, when it came down to it, he became a hero in his own way.

First Sentence: The belt slithered upwards before grinding to a halt.

Favorite Character: Sebastian

Least Favorite Character: Voedawg

It's tough being a thirteen-year old schoolboy, especially when you're an accident-prone coward and the big brother who stuck up for you is dead. Oh, and you've been thrust into a magical realm you're expected to save single-handedly. Sebastian Duffy has an awful lot of skills to learn in a hurry if he is to defeat Phobitor by stealing the Spear of Lugh from the peace-loving Tuath. "Sebastian woke with terror in his heart. His dream was a prophecy and he read it in a second. They intended to kill him, imminently." He's been given some help of course-a mercurial sorceress, an orphaned druidess, a taciturn warrior, a snuff-sniffing leprechaun and a lovelorn poet- an outfit known as the Hibernauts, but can he really overcome a psychopathic warmongering god when half the realm is bent on his destruction? "There was a searing flash and Sebastian found himself sailing through the air. As he span upward, multiple colors appeared, resolving into broad bands. He watched the rainbow arc up into the air, up, up, up, higher and higher, disappearing into the thick black clouds." If he is to have the remotest chance he will have to outsmart hordes of aiia, cluricaun, brigands, woodwose, undead warriors, speckled bats, spies, hunkypunks, traitors, skeletons, gobbleratches and battle-swine first. And are those Tuath really so peaceable? If only he could find his courage. The Traitor's Trap is the second installment in the Sebastian and the Hibernauts series, the fast-paced, endlessly twisting adventure saga set in Hibercadia, a Celtic dreamworld brimful of quizzing glasses and magic shillelaghs, mechanical fireworks and night rainbows, fantastical creatures and outrageous skullduggery, tragedy and joy.