It’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday!
This second book in The Witches of Orkney series could be read without having knowledge of the first story, THE BLUE WITCH. You may not even know the books are a prequel to the previously released, Legend of Orkney series.
Regardless, the author does a good job of filling in the gaps. But once you finish THE RUBICUS PROPHECY, I’m sure you will be going back to enjoy the introduction to the series. It’s a fantastical world full of engaging and distasteful characters that provide a wide range of emotions for readers.
Here’s the Official Background: Abigail has just started her second year at the Tarkana Witch Academy and is already up to her ears studying for Horrid Hexes and Awful Alchemy! Worse, Endera’s malevolent spellbook has its hooks in her, whispering in her ear to use its dark magic. Meanwhile, the entire school is talking about the Rubicus Prophecy; a sign has arrived that the chosen witchling is among them, the one who will one day break Odin’s curse over them. When an Orkadian warship arrives carrying troubling news, Abigail and her friend Hugo are swept into a new mystery after a young boy from the ship, Robert Barconian, asks for their help retrieving a missing item.Along with the former glitch-witch, Calla, the four friends end up deep in the catacombs beneath the Tarkana Fortress―a place where the draugar, the living dead, wander about. Abigail discovers there is more to the Rubicus Prophecy than anyone ever imagined. Can she stop it in time before she and her friends are destroyed?
The tale is full of mystery, bullies (far worse than you’d come across in the real world), and spell making. I liked the addition of a young Robert, although his actions and words often seemed older than his eleven years. The 31 chapters pass by quick and the climatic ending will have you hanging on edge.
The world building is perfect and doesn’t go so deep to make the story drag. It’s aided by illustrations throughout (Wait, did I see a mermaid?) Like any great series, unresolved issues are left for you to ponder until the next book is released. The characters have a fearsome future along with destroyed relationships.
Parts are gruesome but the story would appeal to middle grade grade girls and boys who have exhausted everything Potter and Percy. Both books in the Witches of Orkney series would make a great gift.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
THE RUBICUS PROPHECY by Alane Adams
- The spells have bewitching names and often surprising results.
- Fun, fast-paced, and frightful. The big three for young readers!
- School life at the Tarkana Witch Academy made me glad to have good old public school.
- The relationships formed between the characters are memorable and with two feuding factions, you might pick up on some parallels to our real world.
- Although the story line left me hanging (I’m a resolve all plot lines kind of reader), the intriguing possibilities put forth by the epilogue had me full of guesses for several scenarios that possibly could come about.
A FEW WORDS FROM AUTHOR, Alane Adams (from her website)
Having been an avid reader my entire life, books based on mythology have always fascinated me the most. I think it’s the idea of magic and the unlimited potential behind the surreal. Building an entirely new world like the fantastical realm of Orkney in my series has been a wonderful challenge. When I think of stories that don’t involve some element of magic it feels dry and boring. I love characters that are deeply flawed and full of emotions like anger and frustration and a burning desire to understand why it is they are so flawed. There are so many wonderful writers out there that entertain children and adults alike, but my all-time favorite book is River God by Wilbur Smith because it tells such a powerful story of life in ancient Egypt and you can’t help but be swept back to that time and place.
When I’m not writing or teaching, I’m out hiking somewhere in the world or hanging out with my three boys who are my greatest joy. Thank you for visiting my page. I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I enjoyed writing them for you.
To learn more about my foundation visit: www.riseupfoundation.org.
I received an arc for my honest review. Please comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!