THE BLACK ROSE by James Bartholomeusz


From the "Seven Stars Trilogy" series, volume 2
Age Range: 12 - 18
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Evil cultists, magic shards, goblins and elves.

Book 2 of The Seven Stars Trilogy follows British student Jack Lawson and his band of fellow peacekeeping Apollonians in a race against time to find a series of magical shards before the evil priests and priestesses of the Cult of Dionysus use them for nefarious purposes, namely world domination. Just as in the first installment of the trilogy, this is full of references to heroic literature, time travel, excitement and danger. Bartholomeusz, a teenager at the time of publication of the first book, pens a fast-paced page turner with mostly believable dialogue. The worlds inhabited by his characters seem patched together at times, however, and he’s much better at crafting scenes that take place in more familiar territories than the ones he makes up. For example, whereas a hunt for a shard set in a forest of fairies reads clearly and succinctly, some of the more conceptual backdrops, like the Nexus where the cult resides, feel less fully realized. Bartholomeusz also has a tendency to throw in lots of imaginary creatures and objects without explanation or connective tissue, which might confuse readers. This doesn’t really hamper the plot, however, and once readers are hooked, they’ll most likely plow right through the oddities.

An author worth watching. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-160542537-5
Page count: 260pp
Publisher: Medallion Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2012


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