A spooky series second-parter takes a 17th-century 13-year-old English boy and his friends across the Atlantic to the magical New World.
Jem, an unacknowledged bastard son of Charles II with "gypsy looks," is overjoyed that he's soon to see his friends Tolly and Ann. The pair has been traveling with a troupe of players since the trio's joint escape from wicked Count Cazalon at the conclusion of The Jade Boy (2013). Their celebration goes horribly wrong when an evil force spirits away gentle, white 12-year-old Ann. Though the well-meaning adults all hope to rescue Ann, Tolly and Jem hare off on their own rescue mission—only to find themselves on a trans-Atlantic ship journey. Psychic Tolly, the African former slave, can magically tell that Ann is somewhere aboard, but where? Their quest is aided by the kindly ship captain and his crewman Mingan, a “noble savage” stereotype who's both bizarre and unpalatable. The Native American Mingan has no named tribe but merges characteristics of native nations from across North America with the usual fantasy native fare of werewolves and skinwalkers, along with the more inexplicable: constant reference to his waist-long hair threaded with "scores of tiny white skulls."
Entertaining if rife with stereotype; Joseph Bruchac's Wolf Mark (2011) is both comparable and better. (Fantasy. 10-12)