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Lonely, suspicious of the adult world, and far too well acquainted with betrayal, ten-year-old Zebedee Bolt is an easy target for the wicked witch Morg. With very little effort at all, she’s able to tempt him into working for her, rather like the White Witch and Edmund Pevensie in the Narnia stories, and soon he too finds himself in another world, Crackledawn, one of the Unmapped Kingdoms. More astonishingly still, Zeb discovers that its fate, and that of our own world, depends on him. Can he, as a Faraway child, prevent Morg from carrying out her plan to steal the Unmapped magic and turn all the worlds dark? Abi Elphinstone writes irresistible adventure stories filled with magic and excitement, while her characters sparkle with so much life and humour that readers will miss their company when they close the book. For sheer honest-to-goodness enjoyment, The Crackledawn Dragon is very hard to beat. It’s the fourth in the Unmapped Chronicles series but works perfectly well as a stand-alone, yet another trait it shares with the Narnia books.
October 2020 Book of the Month | This new episode in The Unmapped Chronicles series plunges readers head-first into heart-stopping adventure deep in a rain forest closely modelled on the Amazon, but thrillingly, magically different. Twins Fox and Fibber Petty-Squabble (fabulous names are one of the hallmarks of Elphinstone’s writing) find themselves in Jungledrop, one of the Unmapped Kingdoms, and in a vital race against time with the thoroughly villainous harpy Morg; for the first time in their eleven years, the two siblings will have to work together if they’re going to secure the future of two worlds. This is a hugely satisfying fantasy adventure filled with everything that makes the hearts of young readers sing. Readers who enjoy Jungledrop should look out for Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor series or Dominique Valente’s sparkling Starfell books.
As proved in her hugely popular Dreamsnatcher series, Abi Elphinstone understands exactly what young readers want in the way of magical adventure and Rumblestar, the first instalment of a new series, should make them very happy indeed. The new Unmapped Chronicles start with a ‘what if’ - specifically what if our climate was actually created magically in another world linked to ours? When Casper Tock finds himself in just such a world, all he wants is to escape but it’s his destiny to stand against the villainous Morg to safeguard his home. In this he has a wonderfully spiky companion, a girl called Utterly Thankless, and a whole host of dangers to confront. The adventures keep coming and Elphinstone’s imagination seems boundless while she’s clearly thinking too about the climate challenges we face in the real world. Great stuff, and a real treat for young readers.
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