Still searching for her missing father, 12- or 13-year-old Alice Creighton finds a formidable enemy in Torment, a wildly dominating magical creature, in this second book in the Forbidden Library series.
Alice has spent the last six months as a Reader’s apprentice, during which she learned to do magic and nearly died twice. Full-fledged Readers ultimately can enter into stories and use their energy to bring creatures out of their “prison-books.” Alice hopes that gathering all of this insight and experience will help her to find her father. When sent by Geryon, her master, on a dangerous mission to find a wayward apprentice who is believed to have killed his own master, Alice finds out just how nuanced this world’s politics really are, with some masters teaching their apprentices to be rivals with one another. Meanwhile, she continues her gentle interest in Isaac, another apprentice, who seems just as interested in her. While the story gets a bit protracted at times—like a movie with too many special effects—Wexler is an able builder of magical worlds and creatures, with labyrinths, an enchanted library, and a feisty, swashbuckling heroine at the center.
A story rich in action and allegory—fantasy fans will want to hang on for what comes next. (Fantasy. 10-14)