by Brian Farrey
First sentence: “Of all the wisdom passed down through the generations of the Grimjinx clan, the bit I think about most came from Jerrina Grimjinx, wife of Corenus, our clan father.”
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Others in the series: The Vengekeep Prophecies, The Shadowhand Covenant
Content: There’s some action, and a few intense moments. The length will probably deter less confident readers, but (aside from the made up words) it’s really a page-turner. It’s in the middle grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore.
Jaxter thought, after he defeated the Shadowhand, that his troubles would be over. But, the High Laird has been raising taxes, and the population of the Five Provinces are getting restless. None of this bothers Jaxter very much, until the mages kidnap his sister. Who happens to be a powerful seer.
Jaxter, of course, can’t let this happen. So he, his parents, and some of his friends, head off to rescue Aubrin from the power-hungry mages and discover that they’re plotting to overthrow the High Laird and take over the provinces. Once again, Jaxter (and the whole Grimjinx clan) is in over their heads. But, true to form, they rally and figure out a way to Save the Day.
This is such a solid series: a great overarching story (elements of the first book came back again in this one), that involves themes of freedom and who has the right to rule. But it’s also grounded in family: I love the whole Grimjinx clan (even the wayward uncle) and how they pull for each other. They can do things individually, true, but as a family unit, they’re unstoppable. And I love how Jaxter’s friends got adopted into the family: they’re as important to him as his actual family. I especially like his relationship with Callie: you can tell he’s concerned about her, but there’s no romance. They’re just friends, and that’s great.
I also loved how this wrapped up, but didn’t tie everything up in a nice, neat bow. Farrey chose to leave things hanging; and I appreciated the ambiguity. Anything could happen, and that’s just great.
It’s a fantastic end to a fantastic series.