Rohan (Weaverworld: Grimsnipe’s Revenge, 2012) returns with the second installment in her fantasy series, in which young Jack must travel back to Weaverworld to replace his grandmother’s silver necklace.
After a raven steals Granny Rose’s precious amulet, she collapses and is admitted to a hospital. Jack is convinced that the missing amulet and the absence of her beloved dog, Roosevelt, lost in the previous book, are the causes of his grandmother’s frailty. Determined to see her well again, he travels to Weaverworld to reclaim them both. In Rohan’s well-constructed fantasy world, some people have the power to literally “weave” objects out of thin air. Jack has this rare skill, despite the fact that he’s a “Realie”—a person from Realworld. To reclaim the missing amulet, he must travel to the land of Thewlia, and that’s not an easy task with evil tyrant Grimsnipe on his trail. In places, the novel’s setting is rather Tolkien-esque, with endangered forests full of old trees; bloated, giant spiders; and magic riddles that open and close passageways in the enemies’ Labyrinth. (There are also references to The Wizard of Oz, with Jack traveling between worlds through a portal, rather like Dorothy’s passage through a tornado.) There’s plenty to keep young readers engrossed as shape-shifters, a flying ship and action-packed battles, apparently inspired by The Lord of the Rings films, keep the young hero fighting the odds as Grimsnipe closes in. One weakness, however, is Jack’s somewhat overbearing and two-dimensional personality.
A fairly accomplished, if uneven, fantasy novel that readers may enjoy even if they haven’t read the first book in the series.