Follow the adventures of two teens as they are inducted into a magical society and fight against a dark force.
Our heroes are two teens—shy, older sister, Maya, and her cocky, impulsive brother, Thomas. After their father dies mysteriously and their mother falls gravely ill, the family stays in Paris with a mysterious benefactor named Uncle D., who reveals that he had a special relationship with the teen’s father and offers to teach them an ancient magical art known as the Arakad. Soon after the training begins, Arakad masters across the world are discovered violently murdered. A rival gang called the Thaalung Clan has harnessed the power of the Arakad for evil purposes. Uncle D. must train his new students while fending off the forces of the Thaalung. An epic battle ensues that will crisscross Europe and involve a mysteriously addictive energy drink. The success or failure of this sort of story, particularly in the minds of young readers, depends almost entirely on how interesting the magic is. The best novels create detailed and even plausible descriptions of magical powers. Look at the way Harry Potter treated wizardry for a high-water mark. While not quite up to that standard, the Arakad is an interesting and entertaining mix of religion, mythology and sorcery. This book is the first in what is likely a multivolume series, and the groundwork has been laid for a satisfyingly epic story. In this first volume, as many questions are raised as answered. Wolf does have a weakness for New Age-inflected platitudes that even young readers will find cheesy, but these do little to detract from the momentum of the plot. Wolf has also taken the step of enhancing the book with online content that helps broaden the universe of the Arakad and further invest readers in the characters. If this standard of ambition and skill continues, the Arakad novels could make for a stellar new YA series.
A notable new series for teens and adventure lovers.