MONEY JANE by T.K. Riggins


From the "How to Set the World on Fire" series, volume 2
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A sequel follows a group of young students at a magic school.

Kase Garrick is a budding warrior at a school called The Academy. The Academy educates young people to become wizards, warriors, and scholars. Although students tend to stick to just one discipline, Kase sometimes ventures into wizard studies with the help of his close friend Lenia. Kase and Lenia have just completed a lesson when out of nowhere a figure appears and steals her trident. Lenia doesn’t need the trident to practice magic but she does use the device to focus her abilities. Needless to say, the incident greatly upsets Lenia and puts a strain on her relationship with Kase. Ever the hero, he decides that he will get the trident back. The only clue he has is that the thief greatly resembles a Robin Hood–like figure from the past called Money Jane. Scholars are taught in school that Money Jane was a villain, though some research shows that she has been revered in places as a heroine. And so Kase embarks on a journey that will take him to a lawless place called Camptown as well as an annual competition at The Academy called The Quest Series. The author offers an imaginative odyssey that incorporates creatures ranging from giants and mermaids to tigers, which happen to have keys around their necks. It is also an inherently strange escapade that includes trips to the library, where Kase decides he wants to do volunteer work. Riggins’ (How to Set the World on Fire, 2017) fantasy is a largely bright one, with optimistic protagonists displaying positive frames of mind, though the dialogue can be a little too chipper. One character comments that “I’m so happy we were able to do this together,” while another exclaims that “I’m so excited!” Such obvious sentiments distract from what is inarguably a surprising romp. Even if, in the end, Kase’s fate is likely to be a happy one, readers can never tell how many magical obstacles and ancient texts he and his companions will need to navigate.

While it becomes too bubbly in places, this fantasy creates an oddly original adventure. 

Pub Date: May 14th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-9959002-2-6
Page count: 274pp
Publisher: Franchise Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
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