The Ruby Knight by David Eddings - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.
Quest for the jewel of life.
Enter the world of warring kingdoms, magic and marvels, political intrigues - enter the enthralling world of THE ELENIUM.
In this second volume, Ehlana, young Queen of Elenia, clings to life by a thread, preserved within a diamond-like block of crustal conjured by the sorceress Sephrenia. But there is a price to pay - twelve Pandion Knights must sacrifice their lives to keep her alive for just one year.
Only one thing is powerful enough to save Ehlana - the Bhelliom, an exquisite and magical jewel that has been lost for centuries. Sparhawk, the Queen's Champion, and his band of allies must set off on a perilous quest to locate the precious stone. But the evil God Azash has plans for it himself... From the blurb.
Continuing to re-read this trilogy, and I'm still loving it!
The Ruby Knight picks up right where The Diamond Throne ended. After talking to the late King Aldreas' ghost, Sparhawk now knows the only way to save Queen Ehlana after she was poisoned is to find Bhelliom, the sapphire jewel carved into the shape of a rose. Infused with the power of the Troll Gods, Bhelliom is practically invincible, and can do anything. However, Bhelliom has been lost for around give centuries. Sparhawk must again go out to find Bhelliom, which was last seen in the crown of King Sarak, who died during the Zemoch invasion 500 years ago. Travelling with his companions to Lake Rendor, where the majority of the battle took place, they discover a creature of darkness sent by evil Sytric Elder God Azash hot on their heels, the search becomes more desperate to find Bhelliom, before it falls into the wrong hands.
Sparhawk's journey is long, and with each month that goes by, another knight dies, handing over his sword to Sephrenia. Sparhawk begins to get frustrated and melancholic, and finds he has doubts about their journey and what it will accomplish. Is it just a fool's errand? Will they ever find Bhelliom, and will they even find it in time to save the young Queen? The danger is somewhat amped up in this book with various groups of people trying to hinder their search, and it's absolutely wonderful!
In this book do some of the events I remember take place. Fights with senseless people, raising the dead, an encounter with a crazy woman with insatiable blood lust! It's just incredible! I love the moments when Flute finally speaks and astounds them all, and when they discover the truth about who she is. And I love how we get to know some of Sparhawk's companions better. In The Diamond Throne, he is joined by Tynion, Bevier and Ulath, three brilliant Knights from the other three orders of Church Knights, and they're such great characters. Bevier is so devout and proper, but has no problem loping off someone's head if the situation arises. Ulath is strong and quiet, but has exceptional wit when he does speak, and works wonders when it comes to getting their enemies to comply. Tynian is like Kalten, another humourous, happy-go-lucky Knight, but built as big as an ox, and just as intimidating with a sword as how he looks.
A wonderful second novel, and loving where the final book is going - I've already picked it up. Really can't recommend these books enough!
Published: 1991 (my edition)
David Eddings' Website
My other reviews from the series:
The Diamond Throne (The Elenium Book 1)