The search for the Ember Stone continues in the second installment of this animal fantasy series.
Owl of Valor–in-training Tag and his friends Skyla the squirrel and Blaze, the series’ titular last firehawk, must locate the second piece of the powerful Ember Stone. Guided by their magical map and Blaze’s connection to the Stone, they make their way north, over the Jagged Mountains to the mysterious Crystal Caverns. Along the way, they brave a raging snowstorm, rescue a lost seal, fight off Thorn’s vicious ice-leopard spies, and get trapped in an ice cave. Blaze is their best weapon, as she uses her burgeoning power over fire—she can burst into flame at will—to free the gang from the ice and to defeat the deadly leopards. The evil Thorn, who has yet to make an on-page appearance, wants control of the Ember Stone so he can destroy the land of Perodia. The three pals are Perodia’s only hope, and over the course of the story, they discover that friendship and teamwork go a long way. As in the previous book, the pace is fast and primarily dialogue-driven, with loads of exclamations. The myriad black-and-white images and easy-to-read text make this an apt read for those making the transition from early readers to longer books. The book includes reading comprehension questions and activities to help readers immerse themselves in Tag’s world.
A nifty addition to the series. (Animal fantasy. 6-9)