The second book of the Five Stones Trilogy brings Chase, Knox, and Evelyn back to the hidden land of Ayda.
The Thompson and Boudreaux children, rescued after their harrowing sea mishap in The Fog of Forgetting (2014), have no memory of what happened. Although safe at home, the children are acting oddly, and young Frankie is deathly ill. When Chase falls off the widow’s walk during a storm, and Knox and Evelyn meet a mysterious, elfin man named Chantarelle, the children remember their past adventure on the magical fog-bound island of Ayda and their promise to return to help. Chase and the not-what-he-seems handyman Capt. Nate make their way to Ayda by sea, while Knox and Evelyn take an underground route led by Chantarelle. Morgan’s ambitious plot ties up loose ends from Book 1 while creating additional tangles as it delves deeper into the power struggle on Ayda. The story’s many keen insights offset the occasional near brush with preachiness as it further reveals the nature of the five stones, the history of their Keepers, and the challenges the children face, both internal and external. Although a tendency to overexplain and the exaggerated dialogue tags are distracting, this is a strong-boned story that is full of adventure and worldbuilding, and it neatly avoids middle-book syndrome.
An adventure suffused with philosophical offerings that will appeal to readers who enjoy rich fantasy. (Fantasy. 10-14)