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The story is a classic fantasy for young readers with an imaginary world that is similar to ours but supernatural and mystical. Legends of huge beasts and their chosen riders have been passed down from generation to generation, but few believe they are real until a young boy named Tanner appears in his village riding a giant beautiful bird named Firepo who is able to throw fire balls from her talons.

The author’s use of metaphors and descriptive words make it come alive for the reader. Tanner has come to warn the village that an army is heading their way and is reeking death and disaster in their wake. When his cousin, Mark, shoots an arrow into Jerome’s forehead (aiming for an orange on his head) Jerome dies and before being sent to heaven or hell he is given a chance to redeem himself.

Nearly everyone wonders about what happens after death.

The author presents an interesting view of the possibilities.

The author writes to ages seven to nine and is skilled in providing words that might be new to them explaining the meanings of each, making the story not only enjoyable but also a learning experience. After the Thussers land and begin taking over Earth, Brian and Gregory escape through a portal to the land of the fairies and find nothing as they had expected. A delightful story about friendship, animal captivity, and compassion. The two are caught up in a political conspiracy of murders, betrayals, and blanket cover-ups for those in command, yet neither can truly see the other. She is responsible for stopping it without losing everyone in her pack. series in Barnes’ first steps into adolescent lit of the paranormal kind. She decides to take control of decisions concerning her own life, or death.

Lots of excitement and lots of characters gives this an upper middle school focus. On the days when she is not normal she is an indestructible hunter of the evil that lurks under disguise in the world. Uncomfortable in her new school, she chooses to rescue one of the popular girls when she notices a mark on her skin that means the girl is marked for death by one of the monsters she hunts. She survives the possession through the intercession of relatives she has never met who perform an exorcism, relatives who insist she must return with them to Milan, Italy in order to be safe. The electromagnetic pulse that spreads through the forest and the rest of the world doesn’t care.Each youth is the chosen rider of a huge beast of enormous power which aids in their struggle to save the kingdom.Tanner’s beast is Firepos, a fire throwing bird, Gwen’s beast is Gulkien, a flying wolf and Colin’s is Nera, a golden striped cat. The Kingdom of Avantia consists of small villages and towns of simple peasants living calm, ordinary lives.Tanner and Gwen are able to communicate with their beasts through their thoughts and the beasts communicate the same way, so the story is told in third person about Tanner and Gwen, and also in first person through Firepos. The voice, of course, is Jerome‘s, but Jerome’s guidance isn’t exactly what it should be.This is a great read for anyone enchanted by medieval storytelling. One day, when Heidi is sixteen, she falls thru the ice in a frozen pond and drowns. Now Jerome has to figure out how to get them both into heaven.Will he choose to free her from her word, or will she have to watch someone she loves dies because she still lives in safety in the Underworld? Steampunk, romance, an evil villainess, a French spy, and clockwork creatures make this book unusual. Approximately 5 pages of story then follow (a smart teacher might copy it for the overhead or give individual copies of this part of the story.This is a very good fantasy, well written and fast moving, but for older students only as there is some sexuality. Katharine Tulman is sent to her uncle’s estate by her aunt to spy on him. The evil Rayne had thought was destroyed was only weakened, and a new evil has come back to rebuild it. Vocabulary, character, and suspenseful plot could be worked with and discussed.The action and history in this book makes it different from the run of the mill sword and sorcery fantasy. His goal is to acquire three parts of a death mask that will give him power over all of the beasts of the kingdom and thereby rule.The information on the Templars in this book and how they affected history makes it even more interesting. Three youth, Tanner, Gwen, and Colin, having been personally affected by Derthsin’s army and are determined to stop him before he finds all of the parts of the death mask.Every chapter ends with a hook, the premise is intriguing, and the characters are complex and interesting; in short, this is a Scholastic, Inc. The action rampages nonstop in this new sword and sorcery journey tale based somewhat on the history of the Knights Templar.A child searching for the meaning in his torturous gifts in book one , Tormod is one who is looking for a place in the world and a mentor to lead him there.

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