The third title in Rosegrant’s (Kintravel, 2014, etc.) fantasy series brings the heroes face to face with a dangerous adversary.
This installment of the Gates of Inland series picks up where the last left off, with the human Dan endeavoring to get himself and his fairy girlfriend, Maggie, back to Inland. Complicating the plan is Sister, a villainous girl who was taken to Inland in Maggie’s place as a child. Sister has learned magic and plans to destroy Maggie, Dan, and much of Inland if she can learn Maggie’s True Name. As in previous books, Dan travels between Inland and Outland, and as he attempts to weaken Sister and continue his own quest to find the legendary First Changing Beast, he also tries to reunite Sister with her real mother, who raised and abused Maggie. He journeys to New York City with Graciela, where Sister seems to be using the local museums to create portals and draw power to herself, and he meets old friends in Inland, who inform him of a prophecy. Meanwhile, Maggie’s mother speaks to a mysterious being called Rattleman, and Dan’s therapist exhibits suspicious behavior. This volume is as action-packed as previous titles in the series: Dan always has something to do, someone to meet, and somewhere new to go. As a result, there’s little time for reflection. Something’s bound to catch up with Dan in the next installment, as this one ends with only a few loose ends tied up; the subplots involving Sister and the First Changing Beast, for example, are still very much unresolved. This entry also can’t be read without the first two, as the series as a whole reads more like one long book than as distinct parts. As long as readers keep this in mind, though, they’ll find Dan’s adventure entertaining, and there’s plenty of suspense and intrigue for those who go along for the ride.
A fun fantasy adventure, but one that can’t be read as a stand-alone work.