The second installment in the Elandrian Chronicles series continues the fantasy adventure I first reviewed last year (Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows). Thomas’s friend Enrique is back along with another friend, Akhil. The boys are now 14 and ready for summer—a much needed break between their 8th and 9th grade year.
Girl friends are a part of their lives and I thought this might be inching into YA territory. Not to worry as this stays in the MG realm and should please readers age ten and up. Here’s the official background from Elandrian Press:
In Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, three months have passed since Thomas and Enrique faced off against Arius Strong and prevented an all-out apocalypse. Three long, glorious, summer months – months filled with friends, family, magic, and Thomas’s first real kiss.
Unfortunately, the good times are coming to a rapid end. With a cryptic message from a mysterious hacker, Thomas discovers that his nemesis is pursuing an object even more powerful than the crystals. Arius will stop at nothing to find the treasure and destroy his enemies, and this time he’s not alone. Dark creatures with darker powers are flocking to Arius’s cause: shapeshifters, warlocks, even a sadistic killer in a schoolgirl outfit.
The forces of good are gathering as well, but with so much darkness at Arius’s disposal, the prospects for Thomas and his friends look increasingly grim. Will time run out before he sees through the lies and uncovers the next level of his destiny?
BOOK BIRTHDAY: APRIL 7, 2020 PAGE COUNT: 410
The journey begins with another fast teleport to the training compound on a tall mountain in China. There they train for the eventual encounter with Arius, a man who is bad as an antagonist can get. The pace isn’t exactly fast in the first two thirds of the book, but the last 100 pages make up for the slow start. Thomas is a likeable hero who longs to find answers to what happened to his dad.
You could begin the series here as hints at what has already happened are inserted when needed. But with the large cast of characters, it might help to start with Book One. Harry Potter fans will make comparisons but should also enjoy this very different look at a boy with magical powers.
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
THOMAS WILDUS AND THE WIZARD OF SUMERIA
- The relationship among Thomas and his friends is perfect. There’s frequent teasing but also passionate support for each other when needed.
- The added information about the mystery of Thomas’s father has me on hold until book three comes out next summer. It’s what a good series does—leaves you guessing.
- The action sequences are top notch and frequently have you on the edge of your seat. Learning new magic is never easy.
- Traveling to locales around the world in an instant is a brilliant part of each adventure. No security or seat numbers. In a blink you go from China to Mexico or wherever you want.
- The internal voice in Thomas shines throughout as he tries to understand his magical abilities and doing the right thing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: J.M. BERGEN
J.M.’s debut fantasy/magic series originally started as a bedtime story for his oldest son. The story turned into a saga, and one book turned into five.
When J.M. isn’t working on the Thomas Wildus books, you can find him playing with his kids, napping, or dreaming up new adventures.
If you ever meet him and can’t think of anything to talk about, you might ask about Herman the Shark, the Kai and Eli stories, or why Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip is his all-time favorite book. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have questions and stories of your own (if you do, he’ll think that’s far more interesting).
Please leave a comment below if you have time.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to travel wherever we wanted in the blink of an eye. Sigh. Fantasy books are still not wildly popular with my students, so I find I buy maybe a quarter of the titles that come out. Realistic fiction starting an uptick about ten years ago, and that’s the big sell in my library.
I think traveling to different locations can really add to a fantasy series. Good to know that we could start with book two. Glad you’re still enjoying the series.
This sounds like a well-written and intriguing series! I love that, according to the author bio, the series began as a bedtime story and then morphed into a full-fledged book series! Thanks for the great review!
Thanks for your insightful review for this intriguing series, Greg. I like the cover and the fact that the friends are good to each other.
Your 5 things about this book make me want to check out this series. It sounds like this author really knows how to make characters come to life for his readers.
This sequel sounds like it advances the story for this exciting series. Traveling anywhere in the world in a blink of the eye, reminds me of teleporting in the Keeper series. You know I enjoyed your five things to like, but I really found Bergen’s bio very interesting. Made me like him instantly.
I think fantasy lovers will gobble this one up. In these times of Covid, the instant travel sounds great. Thanks for the review.
What an excellent cover! Really got my attention. I would love to travel somewhere in the blink of an eye. Oh the places I could see! Great review and I appreciate knowing it’s possible to read this one without the first, but that starting with the first one is best. 🙂
What a great cover! Also sounds like a fun series. I’ll have to pass it along to my son.