The second volume of Hoffman’s (The Eleventh Ring, 2014) YA trilogy about anthropomorphic rabbits whose thoughts can shape reality.
Following their defeat of King Oberon in The Eleventh Ring, Bartholomew and Oliver, rabbits from the land of Lapinor, have returned to their everyday lives. Bartholomew and his wife, Clara, are shapers who can “create thought clouds” and then “convert those clouds to solid objects.” Oliver, meanwhile, is an inventor who’s just designed a new flying vehicle called the Adventurer II. He visits the Fortress of Elders, overseen by the mechanical Edmund the Rabbiton. Once the craft is built, Bartholomew and Clara join their friends for a trip to Pterosaur Valley, where they intend to visit the home of Bruno Rabbit, the shaper who gave Bartholomew the awesomely powerful Eleventh Shapers Guild Ring and also entrusted to him a hidden, mysterious abode. Inside, the adventurers find a strange set of keys that open the World Doors—portals to nearby realms. Oddly enough, it’s Edmund who informs everyone about the keys; the robot has been listening more often to his “inner voice,” which never fails to help guide the group. When Edmund soon creates a “spectral doorway,” Bartholomew’s latest journey leaps through time and space. In part two of his trilogy, Hoffman once more enfolds readers in an optimistic, innovative fantasy world in which anything can happen. He weaves together the ancient pursuits of Edmund the Explorer (who inspires the Rabbiton), the dangerous realm of Nirriim, and the time throttle (which can slow down the universe). Instrumental to it all is the Thirteenth Monk, one of the Blue Monks who communicate by singing. Though many of these elements will attract middle-grade audiences, Hoffman’s narrative bustles with gorgeous moments, like when Edmund says, “The song pours into me and fills the vast and infinite empty space between my atoms.”
An endlessly stimulating sequel that caters to intellectually fearless readers.