Beyond the Valley of Thorns (The Land of Elyon Series #2)

Beyond the Valley of Thorns (The Land of Elyon Series #2)

4.3 56
by Patrick Carman
     
 

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Alexa thought her troubles were over when she defeated the man who had threatened to bring down Bridewell from within. But now that the walls around her land have fallen, a new, unexpected threat has risen from outside. Suddenly, Alexa is involved in a battle much, much larger than her own life . . . a battle in which she is destined to play a key role. In order to…  See more details below

Overview

Alexa thought her troubles were over when she defeated the man who had threatened to bring down Bridewell from within. But now that the walls around her land have fallen, a new, unexpected threat has risen from outside. Suddenly, Alexa is involved in a battle much, much larger than her own life . . . a battle in which she is destined to play a key role. In order to help good defeat evil, Alexa and her friends must venture farther than they've ever gone before -- confronting giants, bats, ravenous dogs, and a particularly ghoulish mastermind in order to bring back peace.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
PW's starred review of The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman said, "In the launch of the Land of Elyon series, Carman crafts an intriguingly insular world, and introduces a plucky, convincingly curious heroine." In Beyond the Valley of Thorns, the second tale in the paper-over-board series, the walls surrounding Elyon are down, and Alexa faces new challenges. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Die-hard enthusiasts of quest stories may enjoy this story of Alexa Daly who battles the Tenth Reign of Grindall, the evil descendent of the seraph Abaddon who challenged the maker of all things, Elyon. Other readers, however, will likely be bored by the sparse, leaden dialog and the heavy-handed, emotionally flat narration that tells but never shows. Alexa—a passive, lack-luster heroine—is led by Yipes, a cohort from the first book, to a cave where she finds a secret left to her by Thomas Warvold, a leader who died in the first book. There she finds the last "Jocasta," a stone that enables her to talk to animals. Armed with the Jocasta, Alexa is joined by a wolf and a squirrel in her search for Grindall. With the help of John Christopher, who protects her from the black swarm of giant bats, and a friendly giant who leads her through the poisonous valley of thorns, she arrives at Grindall's castle. In her one moment of action, Alexa gives the Jocasta stone to a hawk that keeps it from Grindall, and then escapes with Warvold, who apparently faked his own death. Although her friends have managed to kill most of his army of evil giants, Grindall has taken Yipes as hostage and she and Warwold set out by sea to seek his return, which presumably will be the beginning of what should be the last book in this rather dismal "The Land of Elyon" series. This book contains some fairly graphic violence. 2005, Orchard Books/Scholastic, Ages 8 to 12.
—Moira Rose Donohue
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Only one year has passed since Alexa Daley thwarted the evil plans of Sebastian and his battalion of convicts to save the city of Bridewell from being overtaken in Patrick Caman's The Dark Hills Divide (June 2005, p. 81), the first title in this projected trilogy. In Beyond the Valley of Thorns (Orchard, 2005), Alexa, now 13 years old, returns for her annual visit and receives a mysterious letter beckoning her to explore the unknown territories beyond the Dark Hills. Once again, impending danger threatens to disturb the peaceful land of Elyon. Accompanied by her friends, Yipes (an agile little fellow), Murphy the squirrel, Odessa the wolf, and an entrusted ex-con named John Christopher, Alexa discovers she has an important new role in a quest to save her homeland. With the guidance of her creator, Elyon, and the last remaining Jocasta stone, she ventures into the City of Dogs, the Valley of Thorns, and Castalia to fulfill her destiny. Along the way she encounters a fugitive giant, some unruly peasants, and packs of ravenous dogs. Flesh-rotting ogres, virile bats, and an evil mastermind obscure their pathway. They finally arrive at the Dark Tower where a decisive battle ensues. Filled with background history, religious undertones, and gruesome battles, this title is not easy to follow in audiobook format. Narrator Aasne Vigesaa creates interest by giving each character a distinguishing voice, but the sheer detail of the geographical terrain and the battle tactics used to fight the evil Victor Grindall is better executed on paper. Without the aid of a visual map, listeners may be lost by the time they reach the end of the long and arduous journey to Castalia without backtracking several times. The ideas and subplots are hardly original, borrowing from writers such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. For libraries that already own the first book.-Ann Crewdson, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Alexa Daley and her father return to the walled city of Bridewell, where Mr. Daley has more strictures for Alexa's behavior than ever. Nevertheless, Alexa leaves Bridewell through its underground tunnels led by Yipes, her tiny companion from Dark Hills Divide. Instructions in a letter from Warvold lead them in a quest to free the dead leader's wife from imprisonment in the Dark Tower on the other side of the eponymous valley. Gutsy Alexa centers this story, always ready to foster cooperation and accept help from well-intentioned friends, be they human or animal. Animal characters take an active and effective role in the adventure. The plot takes off a lot faster than in the first installment, because Carman integrates the backstory as needed in the text, rather than allowing it to slow down the pace. Although the resolution of this tale satisfies, it ends on a cliffhanger, leaving readers to wait in suspense for the story's finale. Still, a trip with Alexa Daley through the Valley of Thorns is well worth the effort. (Fiction. 10-12)
From the Publisher

Kirkus 9/1/05
Alexa Daley and her father return to the walled city of Bridewell, where Mr. Daley has more strictures for Alexa's behavior than ever. Nevertheless, Alexa leaves Bridewell through its underground tunnels led by Yipes, her tiny companion from Dark Hills Divide. Instructions in a letter from Warvold lead them in a quest to free the dead leader's wife from imprisonment in the Dark Tower on the other side of the eponymous valley. Gutsy Alexa centers this story, always ready to foster cooperation and accept help from well-intentioned friends, be they human or animal. Animal characters take an active and effective role in the adventure. The plot takes off a lot faster than in the first installment, because Carman integrates the backstory as needed in the text, rather than allowing it to slow down the pace. Although the resolution of this tale satisfies, it ends on a cliffhanger, leaving readers to wait in suspense for the story's finale. Still, a trip with Alexa Daley through the Valley of Thorns is well worth the effort. (Fiction. 10-12)
SLJ 10/1/05
CARMAN, Patrick. Beyond the Valley of Thorns. 221p. (The Land of Elyon Series). map. Scholastic/Orchard. 2005. Tr $11.99. ISBN 0-439-70094-9. LC number unavailable.
Gr 4-6–Mystery and adventure entwine in this second book in the series. Alexa and her odd companions (two men, one of whom is two feet tall; a squirrel; a wolf; a hawk; and a giant) share suspenseful and horrific experiences, such as escaping the Black Swarm (hundreds of deadly bats) and running from zombielike ogres on flame-covered hills with only jagged rocks and the Lonely Sea below. Dangerous scenes such as these lend excitement and fear as the group attempts to defeat Abaddon, an evil ogre who asserts his murderous will through lesser ogres and bats while chained in a great pit at the edge of the Tenth City. Carman provides enough background information for those who have not read the first installment. The text is poetic, full of childlike wonder, and well written, but the occasional lapse in action may make this novel unsuitable for some reluctant readers. These adventures seem daunting at times to mischievous Alexa, but fantasy fans will eagerly join in her quest.–Jessi Platt, Auburn Public Library, AL
Voice of Youth Advocates
(December 1, 2005; 0-439-70094-9; 978-0-439-70094-8)

In the second volume of The Land of Elyon series, thirteen-year-old Alexa Daley returns to Bridewell, scene of her previous adventure. With the walls around the road down, the forest seems at once more free and less protected, and even though Ganesh, her former nemesis, is gone, Alexa has the haunting feeling that all is not well. It really comes as no surprise when she hears knocking from behind the secret door in the library and finds herself again on the road with Yipes, the dwarf, his friend John Christopher, a wolf named Odessa, Murphy the squirrel, and Squire the hawk. What does surprise her is the nature of her quest: She must take the last Jocasta, a magical stone, and free the land of Castalia from evil Victor Grindall and his ogres. In the process, she loses friends, makes new ones, is reunited with loved ones she thought dead, and discovers that her tasks have just begun. Compared to The Dark Hills Divide (Orchard, 2005/VOYA April 2005), this volume seems a bit static. Even though the action is unrelenting, less time is taken with characterization. Few fantasy books would benefit from greater length, but this one could use a slightly more leisurely pace and a little more depth. Regardless it is still creditable fantasy for the elementary and middle school crowd, and readers of the first volume will snap it up and eagerly await the promised third volume.-Ann Welton.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439700979
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/01/2010
Series:
Land of Elyon Series, #2
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
374,867
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Patrick Carman usually spends his time in Walla Walla, Washington. But in the spring of 2005 he’s taking his wife and two daughters on the road, traveling across the country on a whirlwind tour in support of his dazzling first novel, The Dark Hills Divide.

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Beyond the Valley of Thorns 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Pr_Mico More than 1 year ago
Beyond The Valley of Thorns is an interesting story. Alexa, the main character, yet again is set to another great adventure. However, this time she is lead farther away from her family to solve a puzzle that needs to be complete. In more serious situations that can hurt or kill someone, Alexa struggles to survive and accept the truth that she unexpectedly encounters about herself.
QMS More than 1 year ago
Beyond the Valley of Thorns drags you into a mystery story which has many twists and turns. In this book Alexa Daley is faced with new challenges she hasn't faced before, for exmple she has to leave the comfort of her home and help a little band of talking animals and two other people to find the last Jocasta and save the Land of Elyon. I would recommend this book to anyone above the age of 11 years old because the book can be confusing if you can't remember all the things that are happening. Also some parts of the book can cause some under aged children to become timid of reading the rest of the book, which makes them miss out on a great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not read it yet but,I am planning on it the first one was awesome i reccomend it to people who like adventure:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read The Dark Hills Divide(the first book), & loved it!!! I think that I would really like this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought his book was going to be interesting but it turned out that I was struggling to stay awake while I was reading it. It WAS kind of interesting in some parts but for many parts it was boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! is u need a book 2 read this summer, i would HIGHLY reccomend the series. But..... start on the first book, its easier 2 understand if u do. Great series! If i could give it 10 stars, i would!
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
After saving Bridewell from the man who'd tried to destroy it from within, Alexa Daley thought her troubles were over. But bringing down the walls has opened the land to a new threat from outside. Forces are gathering to bring darkness to the land, and Alexa must play a key role in stopping it from happening. Her adventures will take her BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THORNS and have her confronting giants, bats, ravenous dogs, and an evil mastermind who might be more than she can handle. Reuniting with Alexa in the adventure of the second THE LAND OF ELYON book thrilled me just as it did the first time I read it. These books are great for fantasy lovers of all ages.
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Abigail10 More than 1 year ago
This an extremely good book. I enjoyed the book, I normally don't read series but since this book is so thrilling I might read the sequels. I love the way Patrick Carman describes the characters. So even if I don't know who Warvold is, I can still get a very good description of who he is. I love this book and think it's the best book I ever laid eyes on or so I say to my friends. But I'm sure that they don't believe me because they all love Harry Potter! Though I disagree I keep my opinions to myself! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I am!
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NookBook More than 1 year ago
This book is AMAZING! I foud this book absorbing, intersting, and griping. The book is a book about a girl who finds a stone and can do something special with it. Along the way she meets many friends and comes along many problems. If you looking for a good book here's your answer.
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