My son and I absolutely LOVED this book and, upon completion, were frantic because we couldn’t find a release date for the next book in the trilogy even though the back of the book promised it was “coming soon.” Thanks to an online newsletter, I finally found our answer a few months ago — and now, the wait is over! With the exciting prospect of starting The Fire Chronicle (it’s on the hold shelf for me right now!), I came to realize that I never reviewed the first book. Well, that just isn’t right… Better rectify that mistake right away!
I have heard some people compare this book to the Harry Potter series, but I would have to disagree. Yes, it is a children’s fantasy story which is sophisticated enough for teens and adults to enjoy. But, I would more likely consider it a mashup of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The story starts out with three orphaned children who live at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans — they’ve been bounced from one horrible orphanage to another for the last 10 years despite the fact that they believe their parents are alive and will, someday come back for them. Then, those children then set off on an adventure which involves magical time travel into a land controlled by a horrible witch and have to work together with dwarves to retrieve a magical item and restore order to the world. Sure, it sounds somewhat derivative when I put it like that… But, I promise it won’t feel that way when you’re reading it! If you want an action-packed adventure that reads like a movie, look no further.