The action and history in this book makes it different from the run of the mill sword and sorcery fantasy. His goal is to acquire three parts of a death mask that will give him power over all of the beasts of the kingdom and thereby rule.The information on the Templars in this book and how they affected history makes it even more interesting. Three youth, Tanner, Gwen, and Colin, having been personally affected by Derthsin’s army and are determined to stop him before he finds all of the parts of the death mask.
In the end, the reader knows Jerome in a different light, and he understands his earthly life better. She must save Durrel from her brother by using her skills as a thief, forger, and spy, and together they must save a country in the middle of a civil war.
Bunce’s Digger character is funny, intelligent, and wonderful.
Each youth is the chosen rider of a huge beast of enormous power which aids in their struggle to save the kingdom.
Tanner’s beast is Firepos, a fire throwing bird, Gwen’s beast is Gulkien, a flying wolf and Colin’s is Nera, a golden striped cat. The Kingdom of Avantia consists of small villages and towns of simple peasants living calm, ordinary lives.
The reader is both attracted to and aggravated at these two characters by their personalities and choices. He saved her life at one of the lowest times in her memory, and now he is in prison for a crime he didn’t do…murdering his wife.
Throughout the story the author surprises the reader with unexpected turns of events. The whole situation is even more complicated because Digger’s brother is the Inquisitor.
Her details are clever, well developed, and humorous. Digger is a pickpocket and a thief who finds herself thrown in jail.
Jerome and Heidi come alive to the reader with three dimensional characteristics and attributes. Not unusual, but it is the jail most don’t come out of, and she finds herself thrown into a cell with Lord Durrel Decath.
Will he choose to free her from her word, or will she have to watch someone she loves dies because she still lives in safety in the Underworld? Steampunk, romance, an evil villainess, a French spy, and clockwork creatures make this book unusual. Approximately 5 pages of story then follow (a smart teacher might copy it for the overhead or give individual copies of this part of the story.
This is a very good fantasy, well written and fast moving, but for older students only as there is some sexuality. Katharine Tulman is sent to her uncle’s estate by her aunt to spy on him. The evil Rayne had thought was destroyed was only weakened, and a new evil has come back to rebuild it. Vocabulary, character, and suspenseful plot could be worked with and discussed.
Pierce learns that although she is safe in the Underworld, one of the people she loves on Earth is not. If she comes back to Earth to help him, she will risk herself and Pierce to the anger of the Furies.