Kirkus Reviews QR Code


From the Ashtown Burials series, volume 2

by N.D. Wilson

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-96440-4
Publisher: Random House

Cyrus and Antigone continue the adventures begun in The Dragon’s Tooth (2011), as the Order of Brendan and its fearless leader, Rupert Greeves, experience a rebellion that threatens the future of the world.

One year after the events of the first book, the children find themselves desperately seeking the Dragon's Tooth they had lost, encountering perils aplenty. Like many second books in a series, this is definitely for those who have read the first—and even they may find themselves disappointed. The discoveries that engaged readers as they uncovered the world of Ashtown in the first book grow old as the plot perpetually bombards the two children with ever-greater foes and danger. The children's cutesy nicknames, Rus-rus and Tigs, seem irritatingly inappropriate and jarring under the circumstances. Some of the more engaging characters from the previous book are less integral to the plot this time around, and the presence of historical figures such as Captain John Smith and Ponce de León are not as convincing, though the mythological references still succeed. Wilson feels as though he's trying to keep the stakes high and to top what has come before, which can be tedious for readers who are not attached to the outcome. Fearful evil survives to threaten the world, promising further adventures in a future volume.

For die-hard fans only. (Fantasy. 10-14)