Review: Crystal Keepers by Brandon Mull (Five Kingdoms #3)

crystalCole Randolph still can’t believe the way his life has turned inside out. Stuck in a strange land far from home, he has found his friends Dalton and has survived the first two kingdoms of the Outskirts, but none of that has prepared him for the magnetic highways and robotic bounty hunters of Zeropolis. 

Ruled by Abram Trench, the one Grand Shaper who stayed loyal to the evil High King, the government of Zeropolis uses advanced technologies to keep tight control. Luckily, the resistance in Zeropolis is anchored by the Crystal Keepers – a group of young rebels with unique weapons.

On the run from the High King’s secret police, Cole and Dalton hope to find more of their lost friends and help Mira locate her sister Constance. But as their enemies ruthlessly dismantle the resistance, time is running out for Cole to uncover the secrets behind the Zeropolitan government and unravel the mystery of who helped the High King steal his daughters’ powers. 


The third book in the Five Kingdoms series is yet another highly imaginative, action packed novel. Each book is set in a different Kingdom and are therefore vastly different from one another. So far we have traveled from the dreamlike world of Sambria (still my favourite kingdom) to the illusions and intrigue of Elloweer and now finally to Zeropolis a worlds of robotics and supercomputers.

The magic of it all is that the stories never feel disjointed. When reading it seems undeniable that giant dream cookies could exist in the same universe as exoskeletons. Even within Crystal Keepers the ease at which Mull switches between a high tech battle to a medieval castle and back again is remarkable. It is only upon completing the novel that you realize how many contrasts were made to harmonize.

Think you cannot possible read about a unique high tech society after all the other books already out there? Think again. Zeropolis is powered by crystals which can be tuned to an infinite number of frequencies. Any two or more crystals on the same harmonic can connect with each other. They are powered by shapecraft so are totally sustainable. There are some interesting, and inevitable, discussions about supercomputers and the amount of control a government should have over your life. But, those gaming places sound awesome, and I really wouldn’t mind having a battle suit! All of the tech is pretty cool – though it does comes at a high price.

Crystal Keepers focuses a lot more on the central plot than the previous two books did. There are more missions, higher stakes, and a ton of crazy twists. So much goes on in this book. Though the beginning starts off a little slow, the novel is extremely engrossing. I find the whole politics of the Outskirts fascinating; alliances are so very delicate. As I expected, for each question that you get answered, another two are posed. But I can definitely see where it is all going.

Sidekick is by far my favourite character, but it is always interesting to see how many people are part of the rebellion. Cole is getting closer to his goal of finding all of the kids that came with him from Earth and makes some good friends in Zeropolis. I have a feeling that someone is going to turn out to be a double agent but who it will be is beyond me. It still bothers me that the kids are so young… it delegitimizes the carefully constructed plot and world building. But I guess I’ll have to get over that.

I highly recommend this series!


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