Every November on the beaches of the town Thisby, crowds come to view the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to ride the wild and dangerous capaill uisce (water horses) for the fame and profit. This year Puck Connelly is determined to ride her beloved horse Dove against the blood-thirsty capaill uisce and win. Winning will mean her brother, Gabe, can stay on the island along with her and her younger brother, Finn, and they can remain a family. The capaill uisce drowned both her parents leaving Puck and her brothers to fend for themselves. If she enters, if she is allowed; it will be the first time a female has entered the races. It will also pit her against Sean Kendrick, the returning champion, who works for the Malvern stables. At ten, Sean witnessed a gray uisce horse kill his father while training for the Scorpio Races. Every year at the Scorpio Races, some riders finish, some riders die and there is only one winner.
Book One of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, The Ruins of Gorlan, finds Will excited about the prospect of improving his station in life. Will is a ward of Baron Arald, the Lord of Redmont. He arrived as a baby in a basket with a note which stated, “His mother died in childbirth. His father died a hero. Please care for him. His name is Will.” On Choosing Day, Will and the three other wards, hope to select their jobs with the Castle Redmont. Will desires to join battle school and become a knight. Sadly, he is rejected from battle school but his stealth and ability to blend into the surrounding are noticed by the Ranger Halt. Will is selected to become Halt’s apprenctice and train to be a member of the Ranger Corp.
Meanwhile, the evil Morgarath is amassing a platoon of Wargals and deadly Kalkara which he found in the Mountains of Rain and Night. Morgarath readies his army for revenge on the kingdom.
At some point in this tale the two shall cross paths and the adventure will draw you in.
As a fan of fairy tales and libraries, I couldn’t help but be drawn to this book. Mr. Mauskopf, Elizabeth’s social studies teacher, recommends her for a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository after reading her research report on the Brothers Grimm. The Repository is similar to a museum with artifacts but the patrons may check out these items like a library. Elizabeth has a successful interview and passes her strange sorting exam to be hired as a page at the Repository. Soon she discovers that mysterious things are happening in the Repository, and much of the mystery is connected to the Grimm Collection, magical objects, like the seven-league boots, right out of the fairy tales. Elizabeth and the other pages, Marc, Anjali and Aaron, get swept up in the fantasy and mystery as these objects begin to disappear from the Repository and they set out to discover what is going on.
Jacob, tramatized by the violent death of his grandfather, travels to a British island near Wales with his father to honor his grandfather’s last wishes. Exploring the island, Jacob finds Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Rummaging through the ruins of the old house, Jacob discovers a trunk of pictures that show that the children are indeed peculiar and that his grandfather was one of them. And then Jacob finds evidence that they may still be alive! Jacob is about to discover a whole new dimension and set off on a thrilling adventure.
The Land of Silver Apples is Farmer’s sequel to The Sea of Trolls. Back from his adventure with the Vikings, Jack is continuing his training as a bard. Lucy is even more spoiled by their father, and nearly brings the whole village bad luck during the Need-Fire ceremony by wearing a metal necklace. At the last minute, she is replaced by Pega, a slave girl. When his father, Giles Crookleg, tries to buy Pega for Lucy, Jack purchases Pega’s freedom. Giles kicks Jack out of the house. Lucy’s behavior further deterioates leaving the Bard to believe that she has been possessed. But then Giles reveals that one day when Lucy was a baby, she was switched by small, misshapened men while he picked hazelnuts. These men took the real Crookleg baby and left Lucy in her place. Mother insists that Giles find these little men that took their daughter and bring her home. Giles, the Bard, Father Aiden, Pega, Lucy and Jack set off on another adventure that will take some of them into the world of hobgoblins, kelpies and elves.
Percy Jackson is back! Although, he is not quite sure who exactly he is since Juno has stolen his memory. He finds himself battling gorgon sisters all the way from Napa to the Berkeley HIlls where Juno leads him to Camp Jupiter, a Roman camp for demigods. Here Percy meets Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang. Hazel is daughter of Pluto, and formerly of New Orleans and the year 1942. Hazel has a big heart and a big secret. Frank has yet to be claimed by his godly parent. He’s klutzy and his only friend in camp is Hazel. Oh, and Frank also has a secret. Frank and Hazel are members of the disgraced Fifth Cohort and have yet to win at war games. These two unlikely heroes are chosen by the camp’s praetor, Reyna, to accompany Percy on an impossible quest to the north to save Camp Jupiter.
Dayven wants with all his heart to become a Guardian but then he passes the Wizard Test. Wizards are distrusted by the Guardians, the protectors of Tharn. Dayven’s cousin and best friend, Soren, will soon take the Guardian’s oath. Dayen is told he has a choice as long as he doesn’t heal a person with his magic, he can take the Guardian’s oath. But first he is sent on a mission for the Guardians to spy on his newly appointed wizard teacher, Reddick.
Linger, the second book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls and sequel to Shiver, finds Sam surviving the winter on his own without his pack. Sam and Grace are inseparable. When the temperature warms, Cole and Victor shift from wolves to humans. Victor is unable to maintain either form leaving an unfeeling Cole, who wants desparately to escape the human world and remain a wolf forever, to wonder is there more to shifting than temperature. Sam, the leader of the pack in Beck’s absence, must find a way to keep everything under control especially as Grace’s fever continues to linger and her symptoms escalate.
Westerfeld’s latested series goes steam punk (a blending of future and past). World War I is on the horizon. Clankers (Austrian-Hungarians and Germans) versus the Darwinists (British). The Clankers have machines that walk and zepplins. The Darwinists have genetically altered beasts for every kind of job. Leviathan tells the story of Alek, a young prince, on the run with his men from the Germans, and Deryn Sharp who has disguised herself as Mr. Dylan Sharp to join the British Air Service. In alternating dual chapters, readers follow Alex’s escape and Dylan’s rise to a middie on the Leviathan, an ecosystem airship made of all kinds of “beasties.” Their paths cross unexpectedly, throwing these “boys” from different belief systems into a situation where they will need to trust each other. Leviathan is an interesting mesh of machines and beasts. A great adventure!
This sequel to The Red Pyramid finds Sophie and Carter Kane on another hero’s quest to save the ways of Ancient Egypt. Apophis, the Chaos snake, threatens to break free of his prison. The magicians of the House of Life do not trust the Kanes. Sadie and Carter with the aid of their Uncle Amos, Bast and Bes (the Egyptain gods), and many newly trained magicians from the Brooklyn House, must find a way to bring the sun god, Ra, out of retirement. Only Ra can to bring balance to our world. This will not be an easy task since the majority of Egyptian gods and the majority of the magicians in nomes all over the world oppose this action. Needless to say, Sadie and Carter will have to use every ounce of magic they know to complete this quest. Narrated by Sadie and Carter, The Throne of Fire, is an adventure not to be missed.