The Sparks: Kyle Prue
Power, control, fear, greed, insecurity, hate, and even intense hostility can cause people to react and act in dangerous ways. Within the society and world created by teen author Kyle Prue many social issues are brought to light. Hate is a powerful word and can be created from anger, fear or even an injury caused by another person. A person or group of persons can become the object of hate. But, this novel is about more: Three families vying for acceptance, betterment, working towards being number one and hoping that they will survive the attacks, the invasions and the revolts coming their way as families stick together, some fight within their own circles, others just want to be accepted as one of them and some will lose more than just lives.
Imagine a hot glowing particle struck from a larger mass. Imagine a luminous disruptive electrical discharge of a very short duration between two conductors separated by gas for example air: You have friction. But, within the pages of this novel you have a different type of electrical charge or friction: a disagreement or tension between people or as in this book three families vying for control and one Emperor out to destroy them all.
As the author introduces the three families we meet the teenage members of each and understand how they came to get their powers that many of us will wish we had, who is the head of their families and why each teen wants to be recognized by their father or head or their family in order to reach a higher status and gain acceptance.
Three families: The Vapros, the Taurlum and the Celerius. Each one powerful in their own right and each of these three dynasties duty bound and joined together by an ancient promise. How do you save your family, your legacy and your city when an evil Emperor has taken over and wants it all? Each member given special superhuman abilities in order to protect the city of Altryon from what they think lives beyond the walls. A feud that started and no one can remember why. Families that will kill, maim, burn and destroy anyone in their wake. Centuries of fighting and the three families have declared war against each other. As you meet Neil, Rhys, Jennifer and Victoria Vapros you will meet four teens that want their father’s acceptance, approval and often undercut and fight each other in order to be the one that’s victorious at the end of a given mission. Neil is the first we meet when assigned to take out a member of another family. But, not everyone is cut out to be an assassin and poor Neil although he tries hard not to be seen or take out his target he winds up at the mercy of someone else. Neil wants to become an assassin rather than remain in the vocation his father has assigned him: Socialite, flirter and definitely a lady’s man, Neil wants to impress his father by being able to kill another person. A mission that is failed but Neil learns because he is observant, watches and listen about an even more potent threat. As one disaster is averted when a girl, yes a girl, a commoner, comes to his rescue another comes about as more members of the three families are introduced by author Kyle Prue.
Darius loses his family and finds himself on the skids drinking and losing all faith in himself and the world. After going up against the other families and finding himself at the mercy of the Emperor, Darius has to decide if he wants to save the Taurlum legacy, regain some of his wealth, find a way to get back some of what he lost and consider working with the Vapros family. But, Darius has lost sight of everything and when approached by Neil his response was not surprising. As each family is decimated by the Emperor after he enlists the help of the Brothers of the Slums, documents are taken, family members are imprisoned, killed or burned and three Vapros teens decide to create their own army, get weapons by doing just exactly that the Emperor is doing, stealing weapons, taking money from those that are against them and finding a way to destroy the one person that seems to be holding all the cards: The Emperor. When Neil is sent at the start of the novel to meet with the Emperor he finds his behavior odd and reports back to this father that something is brewing. When the family is enlisted to go to the Opera House to see the performance, listen to the gossip and bring back information that might be useful the night turns violent and the end result you just won’t believe.
Lilly Celerius is smart and her servant Jonathan will do anything to protect her. She is deadly, dangerous and when her family’s documents are taken and checked by the Vapros family and the guards come into her home just how she defends herself will allow readers to know that she is one dominant foe. But, when all of the families are hit and members of each guard, servant or parent are killed, will they ban together to find a way to save Altryon, will they realize that the walls that have held them prisoner need to be broken and there is a world outside that they need to explore and learn about.
Bianca and Neil have been friends forever and when she relates what she learned from someone that was able to break through the barrier from the other side about villages, people and more on the other side of the wall, Neil, Jennifer and Rhys agree to go along with her plan hoping to enlist the help of the other families to go after the Emperor.
The book is quite graphic and some scenes are so vividly depicted that you can picture the murders, the cremations in your mind. Each family has its own cross to bear and the hate among the members is quite powerful. The Vapros controlled the nightlife district and the production of ale. The Taurlum controlled the markets. But an unexpected power play the author relates, the Taurlum was attempting to change things in their direction by cornering the market on barley, wheat and hops, buying up the ingredients need to produce Vapros ale.
Lies, deceits, betrayals on all sides and families have to decide whether to go against their own in order to survive? Members of one going up against each other when jealousies are revealed, birthrights are uncovered and hate takes a powerful role in the end result. Lilly, Neil, Victoria, Jennifer, Michael, Darius, Rhys all young people trying to find a way to create some semblance in their lives but can they? When one family member sacrifices himself in order to save his family little did he know it would be for naught. An Emperor so hungry for control, afraid that the families would regain the power they had before, leaving him no choice but to get his guards, his army and anyone that he could enlist to go after the young people who wanted to gain back what they had before, free their family members from the dungeons they were placed in and get revenge for those they lost.
The caste system and social status places a definite role in this novel, as Bianca Blackmore is a regular citizen who is not readily accepted by the group when enlisted to help with their plans. Jonathan is a handicapped servant who worships Lilly and will give his life to protect her yet he’s considered unworthy by others.
But, a suggestion is made to team up all of the family members and work together in unison to save their legacies, get back those that have been imprisoned and hopefully finally get beyond the walls of Altryon. Thinking that nothing exists except them has kept them prisoners in their own city and devoid of any knowledge of any other civilizations. What happens at the end will surprise readers as the members of each family learn the true meaning of friendship, loyalty, trust and understanding and hopefully will eliminate the hate. What will their fate be? Who will live to get beyond the walls? What happens when too many sparks are ignited and no one can put them all out? Find out when you read: The Sparks and then let’s hope book two in the trilogy follows so that we learn more.
Characters that are well thought out and many that teens will identify with as Neil who only wanted his father to approve of him and become an assassin learns the true meaning of choosing his own way. Darius learns there is more to life than drinking and girls and Lilly learns that meaning of cooperation, loss and love.
Find out what’s next when you read: The Flames
Fran Lewis: Reviewer