In the third installment of the Chronicles of the Black Tulip, Bren and his crew depart the landlocked Asian continent for the Arctic Ocean; and the adventure continues.
Following the events in The Dragon’s Gate (2016) and having lost his best friend, 14-year-old Bren wants nothing more than to go home. Together with Eirishman Sean, his sole remaining companion, he journeys overland from China to India seeking passage back to Britannia. But Bren can’t seem to evade adventure. When they are chased by a band of armed monks, Bren realizes he has unwittingly come into possession of a valuable map disguised as a religious artifact. Bren then falls in with Shveta, a mysterious Indian aristocrat on a quest to locate the Lost Words of Magic, an ancient power that will help her “remake the world.” Bren concludes that his best chance for making it home alive is to join her on a perilous journey to the North Pole. As expected, the hazards keep coming, the stakes keep escalating. Joined by companions old and new, Bren finds himself eating polar-bear organs, battling half-human/half-animal monsters, and traveling beneath the ice in an onderzeeer. Through it all, the outing delivers nail-biting adventure that is pure Wolverton in a dizzying tour of this alternate Asia, but as the final chapter in the story, it leaves readers wanting.
Characters and adventures are here, as expected, but the effort to wrap it all up takes some of the wind out of this trilogy’s sails. (Historical fantasy. 9-14)