Phoebe Plumm and Micah Tanner bravely search for the mysterious Occulyth, which they hope will resolve all of their challenges in this second of the Books of Ore.
Phoebe blames herself for the loss of her father, Dr. Jules Plumm, a former key employee of the Foundry, the powerful Meridian-based technology company that exploits the metal creatures of Mehk. Meanwhile the Covenant, the resistance army made up of disaffected mehkans, is fighting back against the Foundry’s imperialism and looking to Phoebe and Micah to help. Phoebe, who turns 13 in this installment, is thrust into the limelight, seeking an illuminated path and wondering how to act around ardent warriors who treat her like a saint. Baity and Zelkowicz, both animators, enter into some heavy-duty worldbuilding in this volume, complete with an origin story, new allies and enemies, and an extensive original vocabulary. They even create a whole religion—including excerpts from Scripture—that is refreshingly female-dominated. The novel explores themes of political, environmental, and even spiritual plundering as well as what it means to be Waybound. Phoebe insists: “People will change….They’ll have to.”
A brainy, action-packed fantasy outing even more complex and sophisticated than series opener Foundry’s Edge (2015). (glossary) (Fantasy. 11-14)