Manipulator’s War (Ruarnon Trilogy Book 1) by Elise Carlson – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Manipulator's War (Ruarnon Trilogy, #1)Manipulator’s War by Elise Carlson

Manipulator’s War is the first book in the Ruarnon Trilogy, an exciting fantasy series, aimed at teen and young adult readers.
The story echoes The Chronicles of Narnia, bringing a group of teenagers on a school trip into a fantasy world where they are destined to play an important role. They have to work out how to survive, and fulfil their fated roles so they can return home. It’s fun seeing how the group dynamics and relationships change throughout the book as they get to know each other and find their places in an unfamiliar world.
I was drawn to this book by the nonbinary main character, Ruarnon. It’s great to see queer characters in fantasy! As a nonbinary reader, it helps me feel like I could have a place in the fantasy world and I’m sure it helps other readers be more understanding and accepting (and learn how to use they/them pronouns!).
This book gets five stars from me, and I’m looking forward to the sequel coming out! I would recommend this to teenagers who’ve enjoyed fantasy series like the Tortall books and are looking for something modern and captivating.

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