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by D.A. Nelson

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-385-73631-2
Publisher: Delacorte

Stolen magical artifacts! Kidnapped wizards! Assassinated queens! Earthquakes!

Two months after saving the magical kingdom Marnoch Mor in Dark Isle (2008), Morag and her friends must save it all over again. Marnoch Mor, a secret kingdom in western Scotland, has been a safe haven for magical folk for hundreds of years. Now Morag and her friends (the dragon chief constable Shona, the prissy dodo Bertie, the rat Aldiss and Henry, the talking medallion) have discovered a terrible new danger. A disused magical train starts them on their adventure (good thing they have a jar of Instant Driver—“just add water”), Aldiss warmly clad in "a neon-pink bobble hat." Though the safety of the entire magical world is at stake, Morag has more mundane concerns to confront as well: Her evil, positively Dursleyesque foster parents are still seeking her, and now that she's left Marnoch Mor, she's in constant danger. The set dressing here almost seems to come from a simpler time in children's fantasy: "tiny star-shaped elves" holding "little measuring tapes," a weepy dodo loudly blowing his beak with "a large red and white polka-dotted handkerchief."

Lovers of wisecracking fairies and broody vampires will find this twee, but it has its own silly charm. (Fantasy. 8-10)