The third episode in Laurie’s muddled Oracles of Delphi Keep series adds two more children with super powers, bringing the total to five of the prophesied seven (plus One) who will save the world from the satanic Demogorgon.
Following one of a series of obscure prophecies left by an ancient seer, Ian, with his fellow orphans of “the United” and adult chaperones, arrive in Paris on a rescue mission just as the invading Nazis do. There they hook up with more cast members—notably Adrastus the Secret Keeper, a Phoenician soldier charged with depositing the prophecies and various items of magical gear in hidden places for the United to seek out. The children survive bomb attacks, fend off Caphiera the Cold and Atroposa the Terrible (two of Demogorgon’s four evil offspring) and return without much difficulty to England. Then it’s off to Berchtesgaden to round up Wolfgang, an abused lad who can read and control people’s thoughts (except when inconvenient to the plot), and battle Demogorgon’s minions some more. The author fills in some background with flashbacks but mostly assumes that readers will have a general picture of the quest and characters from past volumes. As before, she relies heavily on oracular visions, overheard conversations and coincidental meetings to move events along, and she seldom strays far from conventional gender roles for her characters.
A confusing tangle of myth and history, slow going to boot, despite corpses and bombs aplenty. (Fantasy. 10-14)