When two seventh-grade boys leave for a summer of archaeological digging, they find themselves unexpectedly transported to the Middle Ages.
Tyler and his best friend, Brandon, are typical seventh graders with no plans for the summer. They learn that professor Fielding Atlas, a modern-day Indiana Jones and the boys’ television hero, plans to select two young assistants to accompany him on a free trip to England to search for the long-lost Summoning Dagger of Mercastus. When the boys are selected to accompany Atlas on the dig, they find that they’re not the only ones interested in the dagger: The professor’s rivals are prepared to use deadly force to beat them to it. When, at a critical moment, the dagger appears to save Atlas and the boys from certain death, they discover that they’ve been transported back to the 12th century. Atlas and the boys must overcome language and cultural barriers as they seek to understand why they were sent back in time and how to get home. When they come face to face with the wizard Mercastus himself, the former owner of the Summoning Dagger, they discover that they were brought there for a reason: If they ever wish to return to their own time, the three outsiders must save the small medieval village of Hallswich. In this historical-fantasy debut novel, Maguire makes history, science and technology fun as he weaves them into a witty medieval adventure story sure to entice young readers. While the use of dream sequences and time travel offer slightly unsatisfying resolutions to conflicts within the plot, the story’s flow isn’t compromised. Readers will be eager to join Atlas and the boys on another adventure in the series’ next installment.
A fast-paced adventure sure to transport young history buffs and action enthusiasts.