Take a precious relic, add a secret organization and an ancient brotherhood, throw in some action, place it all in the Eternal City, and what do you get? A grand adventure!
Cassie Arroyo is bored at her new school in Rome, but all that changes when her normally calm dad collects her from school and reveals there are secrets he should have told her. Now they are out of time, because someone is determined to kill her. When a bullet meant for Cassie wounds her father instead, Cassie must leave him at a hospital and seek Brother Gregorio, the only person who can help. And so starts this adventure that will involve the secret organization of the Hastati; the Holy Lance of Longinus, a holy relic that can shape the future; a birthmark that distinguishes the true descendants of St. Longinus—which Cassie bears; and the ancient brotherhood of the Knights of Malta. With the help of her best friend, Simone, and Brother Gregorio’s nephew Asher, the spunky heroine must decipher riddles, follow clues, and make life-or-death decisions. Gonzalez focuses on plot and action in this series opener. Some readers might long for more historical background and better fleshed-out secondary characters, but this is nevertheless an exciting and entertaining adventure.
An adventure that will keep readers engaged until the cliffhanger ending and leave them waiting for the next book. (Adventure. 9-12)