DANGEROUS GAMES

From Aiken (Cold Shoulder Road, 1996, etc.), a continuation of the sturdy adventures of Dido Twite. Dispatched by King James III to retrieve Lord Herodsfoot, Dido, the stalwart Captain Sanderson, Doc Talisman, and the crew of the Siwara sail to the exotic island of Aratu. When an accident lands one of the ship’s crew in need of surgery, the good doctor must operate in an Aratu hospital, thus breaking one of their laws; however, the enterprising Dido discovers that the doctor has more than a career in medicine to protect. Doc Talisman is Talisma, a woman disguised as a man, who claims that she is actually the long-lost daughter of Aratu’s ruler, John King. When King’s evil brother, Manoel, realizes Talisma’s identity, he tries to kill her, and Dido is plunged into some fast-paced adventures that find her fighting off frightening monkeys, outsmarting the nasty Civil Guards, and locating the sweet-tempered twit, Lord Herodsfoot. While a romance blossoms between Heredsfoot and Talisma, the crew must risk their lives climbing up the steep hill to King’s palace, and persuade him that Talisma is his daughter, before a final deadly encounter with Manoel. Fans will be happy to see feisty Dido in action again, and while there is foul game afoot, the novel’s end finds the clever lass and company in search of yet another adventure. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-385-32661-0

Page Count: 251

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1998

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THE LIGHTNING THIEF

From the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series , Vol. 1

Edgar Award–winning Riordan leaves the adult world of mystery to begin a fantasy series for younger readers. Twelve-year-old Percy (full name, Perseus) Jackson has attended six schools in six years. Officially diagnosed with ADHD, his lack of self-control gets him in trouble again and again. What if it isn’t his fault? What if all the outrageous incidents that get him kicked out of school are the result of his being a “half-blood,” the product of a relationship between a human and a Greek god? Could it be true that his math teacher Mrs. Dodds transformed into a shriveled hag with bat wings, a Fury, and was trying to kill him? Did he really vanquish her with a pen that turned into a sword? One need not be an expert in Greek mythology to enjoy Percy’s journey to retrieve Zeus’s master bolt from the Underworld, but those who are familiar with the deities and demi-gods will have many an ah-ha moment. Along the way, Percy and his cohort run into Medusa, Cerberus and Pan, among others. The sardonic tone of the narrator’s voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism that questions the realities of our world, family, friendship and loyalty. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7868-5629-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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THE BANISHED

In a prequel to The Ice Bear (1986), Siri’s people live in the frozen Starkland settlement, residing peacefully with the primitive Furfolk, who communicate by whuffles and grunts. Siri’s Uncle Thorvald plans to convince the king to rescind their people’s banishment to that remote arctic isle with the gift of an ice bear and its cubs. To do this he needs the help of his friend, a Furfolk man, who can handle the bear on the long sea journey; Siri accompanies them disguised as one of the Furfolk man’s children. But when the king insists that the Furfolk man stay with the bear, Thorvald is forced to betray his friend for the sake of his people, while Siri chooses to betray Thorvald for her new Furfolk friends. Her allegiances have shifted during the course of the journey, and in the end it is left unclear whether her people will try to destroy the Furfolk, and what Siri can do to stop them. This complex, atmospheric morality tale offers no easy answers, and takes place in a world that is alien and exotic. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-16602-4

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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