(Cover picture courtesy of Book Infinity.)
With two prophecies fulfilled, Gregor is now focused on the Prophecy of Blood, which calls for Gregor and Boots to return to the Underland to help ward off a plague. But this time, his mother refuses to let him go…until Ripred the rat convinces her that Gregor and Boots need to stay for only a brief meeting. Finally, Gregor’s mom relents, provided she is allowed to travel with them.
When they arrive in the subterranean city, the plague is spreading—and it has claimed one of his closest companions. Only then does Gregor start to understand how the illness plays with the fate of all warmblooded creatures, but he still doesn’t know how he can combat it.
The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins is probably the only series besides Harry Potter that I enjoy more and more as it progresses. Since it is Suzanne Collins’ first series, you can see marked improvements in her writing style, pacing, plot and characterization. Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods is the third book in the series, but it is definitely my favourite out of all five books.
The main reason I love this series so much is the characters. Suzanne Collins has created an unique, memorable main character in Gregor, but it is the secondary characters that I love the most, particularly Hamnet. Hamnet is the son of Vikus and Solovet who ran away from Regalia ten years ago to live in the jungle, but it is his reason for doing so that makes him so compelling. He was once a warrior, but it is the conversation that he has with Vikus that haunts me to this day:
“What do you do here that you could not do there?”
“I do no harm,” said Hamnet. “I do no more harm.” (Ch. 13, pg 161)
When we finally do learn Hamnet’s full backstory, it only cements my picture of him as a tragic hero, much like Lancelot in the Arthurian legends. Suzanne Collins is very gifted at making characters appear cold and hard on the outside, yet highly sympathetic when you learn why they are like that. It is truly her characters that move the plot forward at a fast pace and it is her characters that will keep readers eager to get their hands on the next book—especially with the little plot twist on the last page of this book.
I give this book 5/5 stars.