The Basilisk's Lair

The Basilisk's Lair

4.8 13
by R. L. LaFevers, Kelly Murphy

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Nate Fludd, Beastologist, is back in the camel saddle in hot pursuit of a missing, deadly Basilisk—the King of Serpents. As if saving an entire Dhughani village from the Basilisk’s poisonous gaze isn’t difficult enough, Nate and Aunt Phil must begin to piece together the mystery of his parents’ disappearance and protect the lone copy of the


Nate Fludd, Beastologist, is back in the camel saddle in hot pursuit of a missing, deadly Basilisk—the King of Serpents. As if saving an entire Dhughani village from the Basilisk’s poisonous gaze isn’t difficult enough, Nate and Aunt Phil must begin to piece together the mystery of his parents’ disappearance and protect the lone copy of the Fludd Book of Beasts from a sinister man who always seem to be one step ahead of them. Pack your goggles, rue, and an extra pair of gloves and join Nate on another unbelievable adventure—there’s no rest for the world’s youngest beastologist-in-training!

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Nathanial Fludd, Beastologist , #2
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Sales rank:
680L (what's this?)
File size:
60 MB
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Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

September 1928

Perched atop his camel, Nathaniel Fludd plodded through the desert sand. He did his best to ignore the merciless sun beating down on him.

Beastologist, he thought, trying out the title. I am a beastologist. One week ago, he’d been a castoff, unwanted by just about everybody. Now he was a beastologist-in-training. He imagined introducing himself. "Why yes, Nathaniel Fludd here. Pleased to meet you. What’s that? Oh, I’m a beastologist." The faces around him would look duly impressed.

Aunt Phil’s dry voice poked through his daydream. "This might be a good time to check your headings."


"The headings?" she reminded him. "You’re supposed to be navigating the way back to Wadi Rumba."

Nate looked down at the compass in his hand. The needle pointed to the north, but there was no town where it should be. He shook the compass, hoping maybe that would help.

"It’s not stuck, Nate," Aunt Phil said. "Think. What did I tell you about north?"

"That the compass needle always points there?" He tried to keep the frustration out of his voice.

"And what else?"

Nate sighed. He was tired and his brain felt as fried as a breakfast egg from the heat of the Arabian sun. He wasn’t interested in learning how to navigate right now. All he wanted was someplace cool to lie down. And water—an entire tub full of ice cold water.

But Aunt Phil was relentless. Once she had gotten it in her head that Nate was to learn how to use the compass, that had been it. He was in charge of getting them back to Wadi Rumba. The problem was, he was failing miserably. He scrunched up his brain, trying to remember everything she’d told him. "Oh!" He remembered something. "Are we still above the equator? Because maybe I got that backwards."

Before Aunt Phil could answer, Greasle poked her head out of his rucksack. "Why’re we stopped here?"

Aunt Phil glanced at the tiny gremlin. "Just orienting ourselves," she said.

"Well, hurry up already," Greasle said, but softly, so Aunt Phil wouldn’t hear.

Nate glanced back at the compass. The needle had moved a few degrees to the east. He frowned at Greasle. "Get back in the pack. You’re making the needle jump again."

"Sorry," she muttered. "I likes it better in the pack anyway."

Nate immediately felt guilty for snapping at her. She was his best friend, after all. His only friend, really. And it wasn’t her fault they were off course. At least, he didn’t think it was her fault. "Could Greasle’s effect on the compass have put us off course?" he asked.

Aunt Phil shook her head. She didn’t look hot or tired at all. "No—as long as the gremlin stays in the pack where she belongs, she has no effect on the compass. We’re off course because you didn’t allow for the difference between true north and magnetic north."

"Oh yeah." He’d completely forgotten about that part. Nate looked around. Nothing but miles of sand and scorching heat. His first test at a true Fludd skill and he’d failed. But maybe now Aunt Phil would take over. He looked at her hopefully.

She shook her head. "No, Nate. We learn best from our mistakes. I’m willing to bet you’ll never forget the magnetic north differential again. However, in the interest of time, I will tell you that you need to adjust by four degrees to the east."

Nate grit his teeth, then set the outside ring on the compass four degrees to the east. As he looked up to reorient himself, he saw a cloud of dust coming toward them. "Look," he said.

Aunt Phil lifted the binoculars from around her neck. "Riders," she said after a moment. "Looking for us, it seems."

"How can you tell that?" he asked. Her skills never ceased to amaze him.

She lowered the binoculars and smiled. "Because they’re waving. Come on. Let’s ride out to meet them. They weren’t scheduled to come looking for us for another two days."

"Then why are they here?" "That’s what I want to find out," she said. "Something must have come up." Nate’s heart sank at the cheerful oh good, an exciting new disaster tone in his aunt’s voice. It could mean only one thing: trouble.

Meet the Author

R.L. LaFevers lives in Southern California. Learn more at her website:

Kelly Murphy grew up surrounded by swamps and marshes that she explored with her six other siblings in southern New England. If you'd like to see more of Kelly's work, please visit 

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The Basilisk's Lair (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist Series #2) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Nate Fludd, Beastologist in training, has just barely recovered from his adventure protecting the Phoenix egg and rescuing Aunt Phil from the Bedouin when adventure once again comes knocking while Nate is struggling with his (lacking) navigation skills. A basilisk, the King of the Serpents, is loose and must be contained before he destroys a Dhughani village and poisons the entire region's water supply. Nate would much rather return to London with his new pet/friend Greasle the Gremlin than trek through Africa with Aunt Phil and her secret weapon to face one of the most fearsome creatures documented in the Fludd's Book of Beasts. But where trouble goes, beastologists tend to follow. As he grapples with his own fears and the usual problems that come with dealing with beasts of a mythical nature, Nate might just find he's braver (and more of a beastologist) than he thought in The Basilisk's Lair (2010) by R. L. LaFevers with illustrations by Kelly Murphy. There are not enough words to say how much I love this series. Nathaniel Fludd is everything readers will want to see in a young hero. Murphy's illustrations perfectly capture the essence of the characters and the atmosphere of the story while LaFevers' writing creates a funny, exciting story that will appeal to readers of any age. The book comes equipped with a handy glossary of real (and imagined) terms to help readers better make sense of the slighly Steampunk world of Beastologists and the era of 1928. The series started with a powerhouse debut in Flight of the Phoenix and if this book is any indication, the series will only get better with each new installment. Possible Pairings: The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley, The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read THE FIRST BOOK THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX but is this book more interesting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stephen Beers More than 1 year ago
I felt very sad at the begining , but the end is the happest moment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
After saving the Phoenix from extinction, ten-year-old Nate continues his adventures with his Aunt Phil. This time they're headed to Africa to investigate the escape of a basilisk. Nate is supposed to "watch and learn" as his aunt deals with this dangerous and deadly beast that can kill with just a look. Unfortunately, things tend to go wrong when Nate and his best friend, Greasle (a gremlin), are around. Things won't be easy, especially when it seems someone released the basilisk on purpose. Not only must they recapture the basilisk, but Nate and Aunt Phil must find a way to protect the only copy of the Book of Beasts from a sinister man set on stealing it. This is a great series for readers of all ages to enjoy. The plot is quick-moving and exciting, keeping the reader turning the pages and hoping for more. I haven't had this much fun reading a series in a long time! I loved getting to know Nate, Aunt Phil, and Greasle in THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, and was thrilled (and a little scared) to follow these characters into THE BASILISK'S LAIR. I can't wait to get my hands on Nate's next adventure as he scours the Welsh countryside for THE WYVERN'S TREASURE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago