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Seven teens embark on an epic adventure of survival and triumph.

The world’s balance depends not only on the actions of the humans who inhabit it but the gods of the underworld who run it. Vitus and Mora, two gods, reside in Sansmaal, a whimsical place in the center of the universe that is beyond time and filled with mythical creatures. The two maintain the order of the world, representing good and evil as they coexist. The balance shifts, however, when a dark, ancient prophecy is fulfilled: Mora steals the black diamond that tips the scale of power in her favor. In a surprising twist, the fate of the world falls onto the shoulders of a group of high schoolers—seven young students who are sent on a life-threatening quest to restore order. Summoned to Sansmaal with no warning beforehand, the teens find themselves at a castle with few tools at their disposal, their transportation consisting of horses that only appear when they shout “Transport!” The world around them is filled with obstacles that seem tailor-made for the group’s failure, and as the rules of the world seem to shift and change around them, the students struggle against illness, fatigue and even each other. Most compelling of the group is Jack, a morose, guarded boy who fights against his own pride in order to mesh with the group. The seven students parallel the seven deadly sins; in order to survive, each one has to fight a battle within him- or herself, as well as against the others. For instance, if Jack is to become the leader he’s meant to be, he’ll have to allow himself to let go of his secrets and his fears and maybe even fall in love. The highly readable, fast-paced story has excitement lurking on every page. The interaction between the high school students and the mythology they’ve studied is charming and clever, and the changes they undergo help them develop into stronger people.

A beautifully told story that captures the mysteries of the underworld.

Pub Date: June 21st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1466349018
Page count: 574pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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