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Circle of Heroes (Familiars Series #3)

Circle of Heroes (Familiars Series #3)

4.6 62
by Adam Jay Epstein

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Can the familiars bring magic back to the queendom?

Vastia is in a state of war. Led by the evil Paksahara, whose command of the Shifting Fortress gives her nearly unstoppable power, an army of undead animals is wreaking havoc on the queendom. With human magic still gone, it's up to the three prophesized familiars—Aldwyn, Skylar, and Gilbert—to


Can the familiars bring magic back to the queendom?

Vastia is in a state of war. Led by the evil Paksahara, whose command of the Shifting Fortress gives her nearly unstoppable power, an army of undead animals is wreaking havoc on the queendom. With human magic still gone, it's up to the three prophesized familiars—Aldwyn, Skylar, and Gilbert—to capture the fortress and bring Paksahara down.

But it won't be easy. The three familiars must embark on a quest to gather seven descendants of the most ancient and powerful animals in Vastia. And to make matters worse, Aldwyn finds a troubling scroll that causes him to doubt the very truth of the prophecy that guides them.

With inventive magic, epic action, and laugh-out-loud humor bursting from every page, circle of heroes is an extraordinary adventure you won't want to see end.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Rachelle Andrade
When an evil rabbit wizard and her army of zombie animals threaten to take over the queendom of Vastia, there seems to be little chance of stopping her. After casting a disenchantment spell to remove magical powers from all human wizards, Paksahara, the diabolical hare, has commandeered the nearly invincible Shifting Fortress. This invisible floating fort can only be accessed through a magical union of seven descendants of the original heroes of Vastia. Since the realm has become too dangerous for their human loyals to navigate, the ?Prophesized Three' animal familiars seem to be Vastia's only hope. Aldwyn the cat, Skyler the blue jay, and Gilbert the tree frog must bravely embark on a quest to enlist the help of each of the seven needed species. They encounter resistance and peril at every turn as they race against the clock to complete their mission before the three glyphstones are destroyed and the Fortress can never be summoned again. This fast-paced and entertaining juvenile fiction story is the third in the enchanting saga of "The Familiars." While the book makes mention of many of the events and experiences of the previous two books, it is not necessary to read the entire series in order to enjoy this epic tale. Black-and-white illustrations scattered throughout the book help the reader to visualize the scenes and action sequences. Children will be fascinated by imaginative creations of the author, such as the lightmare, an electrified horse-type creature, and "neveryawn" nuts (used for staying awake, of course). Wit and humor are used well in the story, and it is easy to identify with the very human hopes, fears, and emotions that the animals experience. Teamwork, loyalty, and finding courage and greatness within oneself are a few of the moral lessons imparted by the story. Young readers with an interest in magic and fantasy will be spellbound by the adventures of this unlikely trio. Reviewer: Rachelle Andrade
Kirkus Reviews
Despite obvious new injections of suspense and complexity, this quest-ender is mediocre. The "Prophesized Three"--telekinetic cat Aldwyn, illusion-summoning blue jay Skylar and frog Gilbert, who sees the future in puddles--leave their human "loyals" behind for safety (human magic's been stolen) and journey to collect "[d]escendants of the seven species that formed the First Phylum." In their way stands an army of ravaging zombie animals, raised from the Tomorrowlife by evil hare Paksahara. Paksahara claims she wants animals to rule themselves rather than being enslaved by humans, but it's clear that in this world a human-animal alliance is the morally superior goal. Obstacles are variable and sometimes adorable ("very, very small hippopotamuses….no taller than cucumbers wearing body armor and carrying blowguns"), but they're incredibly easy to defeat. (Knife thrown? Aldwyn's telekinesis will turn it aside. Exhausted? A neveryawn nut offers "a full night's sleep in mere seconds.") Beginning a sentence with the word "Amazingly" can't force excitement, nor can superlatives ("the fake glyphstone must have been their cleverest trick yet"). Welcome notes of unpredictability--an alternate-history concept and the question "what if… prophecies d[o]n't always come true?"--buckle before the obvious ending. The prose doesn't live up to the nuance it attempts, and narrative thrust is weak; hand this off to readers who crave episodic danger that doesn't feel too dangerous. (Fantasy. 7-11)
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—What if everyone thought you were destined to save the world, but you thought the prophecy wasn't true? Aldwyn, a black cat, struggles with these thoughts even as he continues on the quest with his two friends and fellow familiars, Skylar the blue jay and Gilbert the tree frog. They need to rescue the queendom of Vastia from the evil gray-haired rabbit Paksahara, who has built a zombie animal army. In this third installment in the series, readers find themselves in a world in which magical human wizards (loyals) have animal companions (familiars) who possess extraordinary magical powers of their own. In order to restore peace and harmony between animals and humans, Aldwyn, Skylar, and Gilbert must gather seven descendants from different animal families to call the Shifting Palace and overcome Paksahara's magic. Unfortunately, she has taken away human magic and so the familiars must complete the task on their own. This leads to many adventures, great danger, and the discovery of the true history and role animals have played in Vastia, all culminating in a climactic battle. Readers need to start at the beginning of the series, since earlier characters and plotlines are not reintroduced. Though much of the plot will be predictable for any fantasy reader, the interaction of the animals and the personalities associated with the different species are highly entertaining. The implied promise of more books to come will keep interest in this series high. A perfect recommendation for fans of Kathryn Lasky's "Guardians of Ga'hoole" (Scholastic) and Erin Hunter's "The Warriors" series (HarperCollins).Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Familiars Series , #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.38(h) x 1.14(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Adam Jay Epstein spent his childhood in Great Neck, New York, while Andrew Jacobson grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the two met in Los Angeles. They have been writing together for film and television ever since.

One day, Adam asked Andrew, "Are you familiar with what a familiar is?" And from that simple question, Vastia was born, a fantastical world filled with the authors' shared love of animals and magic. This is the second book in The Familiars series. The adventure continues in book three, Circle of Heroes.

Adam Jay Epstein lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jane, and their daughters, Penny and Olive. Andrew Jacobson, his wife, Ashley, their son, Ryder, and their dog, Elvis, live close by.

The Familiars will be produced for film by Sam Raimi and Sony Animation.

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Circle of Heroes (Familiars Series #3) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should read these books.they are so awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want the book sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They sould make a tv sires
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG I give this infinity stars i read all the books in two days i totally love it! It is so funny ! Somtimes i will laugh or somtimes it will make me cry . It is a good book i recommend i say it is for 8-20 it has a good age group there is no cuss words or any thing "wrong".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant wait to read this book u just finushed book #2. :)
KKetch More than 1 year ago
Though better than the second Familiars, Secrets of the Crown, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the beginning or the end of Circle of Heroes. First off, I found it strange that certain characters introduced in the last chapter of the second novel – characters I thought were supposed to be vital to the plot – were suddenly dead within the first few chapters of the Circle of Heroes. It didn’t make sense to me. I wasn’t even sure why they were introduced in the first place if they were just to be killed off. Also, the beginning felt stretched a little with all the “good-byes” and information that didn’t seem to play too much of a roll in the novel. As for the ending, it too seemed to be stretched just a bit, especially when it came to the face off against Paksahara herself. Unfortunately, I do not wish to give any spoilers, but as I read the ending of the battle, it was definitely too long. I wanted it to move a little bit faster. I did, however, enjoyed the path to search for the circle of heroes which Aldwyn, Skylar, and Gilbert take on their intriguing adventure. It introduced wonderful new characters. I especially loved Orion, a nightmare; Marati, a mongoose; and Navid, a cobra. These creatures were refreshing, breathing new life into the original group of friends. Especially since I missed the initial sense of humor main characters, like Gilbert, had in the prior books. This was an intriguing middle-grade series to read with the first novel, The Familiars, being my absolute favorite. It’s probably not at the top of my list, but I would recommend reading the series if you have the chance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sooooooooooooooop Awsome!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome bok lov it lotes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should read it but read the first two first
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best seires I've ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you people like these series survivors or warriors woukd be a nice series to go to they are books written by Erin hunter and survivors is the new series its a dog serues and warriors is the cat series they grab your attention and suck u in its a really a fabulous series but dont watch youtube videos about it because of spoilers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not telling! You could be lying and try and find out privet info!!!!! Im not responding to you any more nomatter what!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all the books in this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
P.s i thiniif you like this book you should resd warriorsk
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These books are amazing!!!! Everybody should read these books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Need more books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous 1 days ago
The evil rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Only several small diferemces: evil rabbit; can rip peoples heads off and has white fur, Pakasahara: magic and grey fur. Anywho, thier close enough. Bye!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Im mew but but survivors.warriors. and familiras.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss your hand three times then post this on three other books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want this book super bad!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the moment i opened the third book i knew it would be good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"So what if I'm an orphan? I am still fine."