The Dragon's Eye (Erec Rex Series #1)

( 59 )

Overview

Life is not easy for twelve-year-old Erec Rex. His single mother can barely support her six adopted kids. And they've moved into an apartment so tiny that Erec sleeps with the washing machine. Worse, there is a strange force within Erec that is making him do odd things. His urge to obey these thoughts grows — until it becomes impossible to resist them.

Then one morning, Erec's mother is missing. The force inside Erec commands him to find her, leading him on an adventure that ...

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Overview

Life is not easy for twelve-year-old Erec Rex. His single mother can barely support her six adopted kids. And they've moved into an apartment so tiny that Erec sleeps with the washing machine. Worse, there is a strange force within Erec that is making him do odd things. His urge to obey these thoughts grows — until it becomes impossible to resist them.

Then one morning, Erec's mother is missing. The force inside Erec commands him to find her, leading him on an adventure that will change him forever. When he arrives in Alypium, a hidden world where old knowledge of magic is kept, Erec learns that his mother and the entire kingdom are in peril. And he might be the only one who can save them.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Meagan Albright
A derivative of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, this title is a solid addition to the juvenile fantasy collection. The main character, Erec Rex, travels to a secret world hidden within our own (a la Neverwhere) to save his mother from an evil king. Along the way he becomes involved in a competition to choose the next three kings of this fantastical world (in a series of challenges reminiscent of the Order of the Phoenix). The story becomes more complex and compelling as trust is questioned, friendships forged, and magical abilities are discovered. The story touches on issues of social justice, politics, and sportsmanship, and would be useful in a social studies class. Young readers will enjoy this story and eagerly anticipate the next book in the series.
VOYA - Ava Donaldson
Erec Rex could have been a good fantasy/adventure story. There are believable characters, an engaging and well-paced plot, and a variety of descriptive settings, but all of these are merely a replica of the characters and plot in Harry Potter. The similarities include a smart female character like Hermoine, an invisibility device, wand-like sceptors, and dementor-like demons. If it were not such an indisputable repeat, the story had the potential of a fun and lasting adventure.
VOYA - Cindy Faughnan
Erec Rex has always had strange things around him-alarm clocks that walk and toasters that throw things at him. When his mother disappears one day, he is overcome by a "cloudy thought," an incontrollable urge that forces him to do certain things. This time the thought makes him pick up his mother's glasses and go to a certain hot-dog stand on the street where his adventures really begin. Traveling through a passage in the sidewalk that most people do not see, he and a girl he meets escape to the hidden world of Alypium and compete in contests to see who will be the next three rulers of the world. His mother's glasses allow him to see and communicate with his mother who hints at Erec's connection to this world. Erec discovers that he has powers here and that maybe he is the rightful king. Fans of Harry Potter might pick up this book while they wait for the final installment. There are many similarities, such as a smart girl for a friend, a bunch of bullying boys, caps that make the characters invisible, a game called springball where players try to get a ball through a hoop and keep it away from players with bats, and even a final chess game when Erec confronts the dragon. The writing is often heavy-handed, telling what is going to happen and then showing the scene. Better editing and fresher ideas would have created a more readable title.
Kirkus Reviews
Entertaining magics and magical gear, along with polished vignettes from Grant, animate familiar fantasy tropes in this seriocomic debut. Having grown up with a juggling coat rack and other unusual furnishings, one-eyed young Erec isn't as shocked as he might be when a hidden door near New York's Grand Central Station opens into kingdoms where magic rules. Working to save his kidnapped mother-with whom he can talk at any time thanks to a pair of special eyeglasses, but who persists in delivering maddeningly vague hints and warnings-Erec finds himself competing for one of three kingdoms offered as prizes for weathering a series of magical games. Tossing in subplots, nefarious schemes, a crew of sneering bullies, sumptuous feasts, allies for Erec, a surprise villain and magic worked by everything from explosive "nitrowisherine" to push-button remotes, Kingsley speeds her tale along to a climax involving an impulsive dragon who gives Erec a two-sided eye to replace his more ordinary glass one. Closing with the news that the young hero still has 12 tasks to fulfill, this light but not insubstantial outing definitely belongs aboard the Potter wagon, but merits a seat toward the front. (Fantasy. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416979333
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/7/2009
  • Series: Erec Rex Series , #1
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 310,438
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 570L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kaza Kingsley

Kaza Kingsley is a writer, artist, and singer who loves travel and adventure, especially in dangerous and mystical realms. Kaza is also a movie buff and reads constantly when she’s not writing books. When she is not off exploring, she can be found in Cincinnati with her loving family...although she may be dreaming of the stars.

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Read an Excerpt

The Dragon’s Eye

IT WAS EARLY, far too early to wake up in the summer, when Erec Ulysses Rex’s alarm clock went off. The thing paced on its tiny metal legs until it could not stand to wait anymore. Then it kicked a marble that hit Erec right in the cheek, just below his glass eye.

Erec rubbed his face and moaned. He opened his good eye. His alarm clock was doing a kind of end-zone dance. It pirouetted toward a pen and booted it expertly into Erec’s ear. Erec groaned. The obnoxious thing would pounce on him if he didn’t get up fast. He could always throw it across the room, but it would only find its way back. And then tomorrow it would wake him even earlier.

“Leave me alone. I told you I can sleep late. It’s summer.” As Erec pried his head from his pillow, something grabbed his mouth. It was his toothbrush, another annoying gift from his mother. It shook its brush head over Erec’s teeth, gripping his lips with its thin arms and legs. Erec almost choked.

He yanked the toothbrush from his mouth, threw it on the floor, and watched it run from the room. Last night Erec had jammed the alarm clock in the back of a bathroom cabinet. He wondered if the toothbrush had helped it escape.

Long ago, when they could afford such things, his mother had ordered these strange, lifelike objects from some store named Vulcan. As he grew up, he became used to these creatures and thought of them almost as pets. But his mother insisted on hiding them from visitors, who if they saw them might think they had completely gone crazy.

It was the start of another bad day, in a bad week, in what Erec thought was a very bad year. His large family kept moving to smaller and smaller places, and growing poorer and poorer. In fact, they had moved nine times this year alone. That left hardly enough time to make friends, let alone say good-bye when he moved again.

A few days ago, twelve-year-old Erec, his siblings, pets, and their adoptive mother, June O’Hara, moved into what the landlord called a “very modest apartment” in New York City. “Of course,” he added, “legally, this is too small for you all to live here.” Erec thought the landlord was being generous in his description. Rather than crowding on the couch with his brothers, Erec slept in a small closet with the washing machine. He hoped his mother didn’t find more strays—for that’s what they all were.

All of the children in Erec’s family were . . . well, unique. Erec had a glass eye (which was really a sort of plastic). Eleven-year-old Nell needed a walker. Trevor, nine, rarely spoke. The thirteen-year-old twins, Danny and Sammy, were found alone and abandoned. And four-year-old Zoey could be more than a little wild.

Erec was tall and thin with dark hair that was straight in front and wildly curly in the back. His glass eye did not quite match his blue one. But Erec had another problem, far worse than his odd hair and eye. It was something he called “cloudy thoughts.”

Erec’s cloudy thoughts left him dizzy and hazy, like polluted clouds were spinning through his brain. They made his stomach leap into his throat and threaten to hold a Boston Tea Party, dumping its contents out while singing a war chant. But worst of all, once a cloudy thought popped into his head, it was like an order. It would grab him like a sumo wrestler, terrifying him until he followed its command. He felt like a puppet, out of control. No matter how hard he fought, he had to obey.

So far the odd things he was ordered to do were good, like putting pillows at the bottom of the stairs moments before Zoey crashed down, or grabbing her before she ran in front of a car. He was glad to help, of course, but mostly felt like an unpaid, nauseated babysitter. And a freak. It was like coming down with an extremely annoying combination of ESP and the stomach flu. But, worse, he was haunted by a fear: What if someday he was commanded to do something terrible?

*  *  *

Erec had not slept well. A loud click had woken him in the middle of the night. He’d figured it was probably a new apartment sound. His stomach had churned for a bit, but, luckily, he’d fallen back to sleep.

He combed the front, straight part of his dark hair, not bothering with the tangled curls in back, and stepped over his sleeping dogs, Tutt and King. The coat rack, another of his mother’s purchases from Vulcan, nearly bumped into him as he stumbled by in the hallway. It tried to get attention, tap dancing on the carpet, flapping its wooden arms. Erec waved it away.

Sunlight streamed into the small kitchen, glinting off the twins’ sandy brown hair: Danny’s standing on end, and Sammy’s pulled into a ponytail. Long and lean, Danny wolfed Flying Count cereal from a box. He rolled his bright blue eyes at Erec. “She woke me up.”

Sammy hunched in her chair with a frown. “You’d have woken me if that big . . . clown was in your room staring at you.”

“Yeah, right.” Danny munched more cereal.

“What are you talking about?” Erec asked.

“That.” Sammy pointed at an immense woman overflowing a plastic folding chair by the front door. She did look like a clown. Unnatural white powder coated her face. Her orblike cheeks were decorated with bright red circles of makeup like great balls of fire. Her nose bulged, and thick blue war paint surrounded her slitlike eyes. Slick black hair clung to her wide face, coming to a point at her first chin. A small wedge of bangs in the middle of her forehead made her already heart-shaped face look like an ill-conceived valentine.

“Who is she?”

“The babysitter. Must be magic she doesn’t break that chair,” Sammy whispered. “I woke up, and she was standing over my bed staring at me. I thought I was in a nightmare.”

“Did she wake Nell and Zoey?”

Sammy shook her head. “She was only staring at me.”

“Another admirer. Clowning around.” Danny batted his eyes and fanned himself with his hand.

“Shut up.” A grin took over Sammy’s face.

Danny lowered his voice. “Clown convention gathers in honor of Sammy Rex. Awed by her beauty, they crown her Clown Queen.” He raised his eyebrows. “Oh, no! Your nose is starting to puff!”

Sammy giggled, the morning’s bad start forgotten.

“Mom doesn’t go out this early,” Erec said, looking around for her. “And she doesn’t get sitters anymore. Where did she go?”

Danny shrugged. “To find work, I guess.” He shoved his cereal at Erec. “Want some?”

Erec took a handful of miniature flying counts. His mother had to work several jobs to support them all, he knew that. But it felt like he never saw her anymore.

The toaster, another Vulcan special, shot two pieces of burnt toast at Erec’s chest. He caught them, looked them over, and put them on the counter. “I’m sick of toast.” The toaster puffed smoke and plopped on the counter.

“Mom forgot to hide the Vulcan things,” Erec pointed out. “The coat rack is wandering the hall. What if the sitter sees?”

“She’ll think she’s crazy,” Danny said, liking this idea. “It could be fun.”

Suddenly the room started spinning. Erec grabbed the counter and took a deep breath to steady himself. His stomach twisted and did somersaults like an acrobat. In the distance, it sounded like Sammy was asking if he was all right.

Fear filled his chest. It was happening again. He would be ordered to do something, yet he would fight it with every ounce of his being because it made him feel so terrified and out of control.

Then the cloudy thought commanded him: Go find your mother.

Where?

Outside the east entrance of Grand Central Station. The hot-dog stand. She would not be there, he somehow knew, but he had to go there to find her. She was not hurt but lost.

Erec dropped into a chair and crossed his arms. The dizzy feeling was gone, leaving him gagging. This was ridiculous. His mom was fine. Now he had to run across town because she got lost on the way to a job interview? No way. He was staying right here. His mom could buy a map. It was bad enough having to help little Zoey. This was not fair.

Erec grabbed his seat, fighting his body’s urge to run to Grand Central Station. His feet danced around him, and his legs shot under the table, trying to push him up.

Danny cocked an eyebrow. “Are you getting one of those cloudy things again?”

Erec nodded. He gripped the chair, fighting the urge to stand, until his hands ached. He had to give in. He would not rest until he followed the command. “I gotta get out of here,” he said. “I have to find Mom.” He got up.

“How will you find her?” Sammy said. “She didn’t leave a note.”

Danny shrugged. “He’ll find her, all right. He’ll crash into her by accident. Remember when he was studying, and he had to run outside in his pajamas and pick up a garbage can, and he didn’t know why? And it turned out that scrawny cat was pinned under it.”

Erec wished he could forget. It was bad enough to be forced to do things for other people, let alone every animal around. Was he servant to the universe?

He ran without thinking through his sisters’ room, into the closet where his mother slept, and picked up a picture of his mother holding Zoey.

Nell stayed asleep, but Zoey stood on her cot, blond curls falling messily over her purple nightgown and around her wide hazel eyes. She looked at the picture and danced around the room. “It’s me! It’s me!”

So this cloudy thought involved taking a picture of his mother to a hot-dog stand where she was not going to be in order to find her. Erec shook his head and shoved the picture in his pocket.

The fortresslike babysitter perched by the front door. Her eyes widened when she saw Erec and then settled back into serene, feline watchfulness. She reminded him of a strange dream where one of his cats grew huge and tried to eat him. “I’m going out . . .”

The sitter raised a finger, watching the tiny television. A news story blared: “Thanatos Baskania, the self-dubbed Crown Prince of Peace, continues his push for peace on earth. He says our world leaders need a larger power guiding them to bring us the peaceful existence we deserve. Baskania and his many multinational corporations are putting enormous amounts of money and people power into this ‘larger power,’ the new world peace organization, Eye of the World. Today, amid much controversy, Eye of the World has been accepted as the ruling body of the United Nations.”

The babysitter nodded with a thin-lipped smile. “Good man,” she croaked. Red-haired Trevor snoozed, oblivious, on the couch.

Erec’s toes were tapping, ready to run. “I’ll be back soon.” As he reached for the door, though, the clown-woman flicked an umbrella from under her chair and whacked the knob. Erec jerked his hand away just in time.

“Nobody leaves the apartment.” The sitter’s voice sounded like a rake scraping gravel. “Don’t you introduce yourself, young man?”

“I’m sorry.” He reached for the doorknob again, and as he did the umbrella rose in the air. His hand dropped.

“You’re Sorry. Okay, Sorry. Call me Mrs. Smith. What are the twins’ names?”

“Danny and Sammy.”

“Hmm. Danny and Sammy.”

Just then the coat rack sauntered into the room juggling three hats. Erec held his breath, waiting for the sitter to scream. He should have thrown the coat rack in the closet.

The sitter’s beady eyes, swimming in blue makeup, coolly stared at the coat rack without a trace of surprise. The coat rack seemed offended and threw a fourth hat into the air, as if to get more attention.

“I have to go. We’re out of food.” Erec touched the knob just before the umbrella smacked it, this time grazing his fingers.

“No OUT!” rang like a jackhammer from her lips, and then a bland smile took over her face.

“But there’s no food.” The cloudy thought gripped him and his knees knocked.

The babysitter shrugged. “I don’t think you’ll starve to death.” Her eyes narrowed to slits. She sucked her puffy cheeks in as if she was trying not to laugh.

Erec tried to grab the doorknob with an arm up to deflect the umbrella. This time, however, its unusually large handle caught him around the waist and yanked him in front of Mrs. Smith. “Do that one more time,” she rasped, “and I’ll have to tie you up.” Her tight frown turned into a small grin. “But don’t worry. We’re all going soon enough. So run along, Sorry.”

Erec flew into the kitchen, where the twins sat gawking.

“She’s batty,” Sammy said. “Don’t worry. We’ll get you out of here.”

Erec was ready to jump the six floors to the sidewalk. “Where’s Zoey?” Danny asked. “We could sic her on Mrs. Smith, and you can escape while she runs away in terror.”

“Look.” Sammy pointed. Mrs. Smith angrily swatted her face while Zoey, by her feet, chewed and stuffed paper into a pen shell. A spitball sailed into Mrs. Smith’s puffy nose. She tried to kick Zoey without getting up from her chair, but Zoey rolled away, laughing. Danny and Sammy giggled.

Zoey steadied herself and blew a spitball into Mrs. Smith’s open mouth. Mrs. Smith spat into her hand. She tried again to kick Zoey, but missed.

“It’s like she’s glued to that chair,” whispered Sammy. She picked Zoey up. “You’re going to get hurt, honey. Let the sitter rest. Did you go potty yet?”

“She’s such a mom,” said Danny.

“And you’re such a pest,” said Erec. The drive to leave was so overwhelming, Erec could hardly breathe.

“Shh.” Sammy winked at Erec. She took Zoey into the bathroom and called, “Mrs. Smith, Zoey needs help.”

The sitter filed her nails.

“Mrs. Smith! We need you.” Sammy sounded desperate.

Mrs. Smith held out her hand to admire her filing job. “Bathroom help is not in my job description.”

“Please. She’s getting sick.”

“Is she really,” the sitter said in a gravelly voice. It sounded more like a statement than a question. She hummed quietly and filed the nails on her other hand.

Zoey left the bathroom, obviously needing no help, trailing a long stream of toilet paper. When Erec looked into the bathroom, his breath left him. It was as if he had been plunged into ice water.

His mother’s glasses sat on the bathroom counter. The thick black frames were held by a thin, silky chain. His mother never went anywhere without those glasses hanging around her neck, although she rarely used them. In fact, Erec had never seen them off her. She even slept with them, and he often wondered how she kept from crushing them.

Erec grabbed the glasses. His feet moonwalked toward the front door under the control of his cloudy thought, until he stamped them a few times. “Look what I found.”

“Wow,” said Sammy. “I’ve never seen those off her before.”

“She never even uses them,” Danny said. “Maybe she’s finally sick of them.”

It was true. The only times Erec saw his mother actually put the glasses on her face was when she was alone and thinking. She would stare into space. Afterward, her eyes would be red. When Erec asked why, she would say they made her eyes water.

He looped them around his own neck, sure she would want them when he found her. Danny tried to pull them off for fun, but the chain caught.

“I have to get out of here.” Erec looked around, breathing fast.

Danny winked and picked Zoey up. “I’ll be under my bed,” he whispered. “If this works, run for it.”

In a few minutes Zoey skipped back, a delighted grin on her face. “Danny’s climbing out the window. He’s probably already gone!”

Mrs. Smith shot from her chair like a coyote after a roadrunner into Danny’s room. Her thick, stubby legs and long feet flew over the beige carpet.

“What are you waiting for?” Sammy asked. “Go!”

Erec felt for his mother’s picture and made sure the glasses were around his neck. “Come with me?”

“Nah. I’d rather see what the sitter does when she finds Danny under the bed. Now go!”

Trevor snored on the couch, gripping his action figures of Franklin Stein, the Super A springball team guardian, and a Cyclops. Erec was sure they were duking it out in Trevor’s dreams. He darted down the stairs and ran three blocks before he dared look over his shoulder. There was no sign of the babysitter chasing him.

Little did he know that he had taken only the first few steps of a very long journey.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2011

    For Those Who Are Critics

    Believe me, I'm a serious grammar and story critic, and half of my best friend's stories don't make it through my grading system. It may be true that it is similar to the Harry Potter series(which I have read each book five times at the least). However, this remarkable story gives a more intriguing storyline. True, the Harry Potter series have more twists and turns. But those twists in the plot was what made me read it over again. Not because I wanted to read it again, but to make sure I understood the story correctly. Every time I read that book, something I hadn't noticed before pops up, changing my understanding continuously. The Erec Rex series, though, are more simplistic(in a good way) and easy to understand. Now, for my personal issues; I hope Erec developes a more best friendly(maybe more) relationship with Bethany, and that she'll find her real last name. Keep it up, Ms. Kingsley!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    GG Double G

    Full of action

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    Wolflinggirl

    A good book though I thought it was very confusing. I love Eric's lullaby. Hush and quiet my sleepy child an follow your dreams to places wild you can be an explorer a knight so btave and find a dragon in a mossy cave he's guarding a gift that's just for you it came from your daddy with love so true and this gift i tell no lie is you very own dragon eye it was made for you it fits right in so your new life can now begin.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2011

    I love it!

    Some people say that it is just like hary potter :p :( but that is not true, Eric Rex is a unique book. It is on top of my favorite book list. You must read this book! Trust me, my dad is a librarian and he agrees with me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not bad-A worthy Harry Potter fan read

    The deal is, I liked Harry Potter. I thought J.K. Rowling brought a certain darkness to children's literature. Ms. Kingsley however, shows the Harry Potteresque type of underworld written in this series and keeps it a bit more upbeat. While I noticed several "similarities" between the title character/heroes (i.e. Erec's hair and best friends) I was still taken in by Erec Rex like it was my first time ever wandering a new world of magic and make believe. In this world of vast kingdoms, magic, fantastical creatures, and such you really find a sense of home, even if it's not your own. It makes people aware that the world is losing it's magic because of what humans are doing to it. All in all, I would recommend this to any child over fourth grade who liked Harry Potter or just like the idea that you are more than you could have ever dreamed you were.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    Awesome

    I love this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2013

    This is a very fun book! There is mystery, magic, danger, advent

    This is a very fun book! There is mystery, magic, danger, adventure, friendship, and family. It is geared slightly more towards younger readers; however, I found this a rather enjoyable read with the promise of fun future adventures.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2012

    So amazing

    One if the best series i have ever read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    I liked but im annoyed

    Good book, but does it seriously take someone 3 YEARS to write? I was 7 when i read the 4th, and the 5th just got out!! I'm 10 now... And i'm not reading the next because i dont remember anything from the 4th!!!!!! And the books aren't good enough to read again, so i'm stopping. Four stars for quality. Four stars for theme. And one star (Zero if i could) for awareness of the readers. In total, two stars.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    The best by Kaza Kingsley.

    Jam packed with action and magic.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    After reading the book Erec Rex, The Dragon Eye, I'm now hooked

    After reading the book Erec Rex, The Dragon Eye, I'm now hooked on the series. To me, these books have just the right amount of acton and adventure to make this book the top of my list. The book starts off where a young boy named Erec Rex learns that his mother is missing, and tries to track her down. After meeting a girl who says she saw her, they both find a magical land called Alypium. In Alypium they enter a contest hoping to find Erec's mother, but find out this contest is to pick the next three kings/queens of the lands Aorth, Alypium, and Ashona. Together they have great adventures, and learn of an evil sorcerer trying to destroy the world. In my opinion, this was a great book. I have read all of the books in the series, and can't wait for the next books to come out. I would rate this book a 10, because I just couldn't stop reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2011

    Pretty dope book something i couldnt put down

    Very good book the story like was very differt then other an not to complicated to under stand

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great and Unique Book

    The Dragon's Eye is a very unique book. I can safely say I have never read a book quite like it. Erec has "cloudy thoughts". He feels like his "gift" is more of a curse. But when he meets Bethany and they go to Alypium everything changes. For both of them. It has great mysteries and it is a page turner. This is a great fantasy book! I can't wait to read the rest of the series. If you are a fan of magic, fantasy, and mysteries this is a book for you.

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  • Posted January 12, 2010

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    Extremely Fun!

    This book was an extremely fun read! I was intrigued at page 1 and hooked by page 50. It's the first in a series that I could easily see becoming as popular as Harry Potter. It's written as a pre-teens fantasy, but will appeal to readers of all ages. This book follows the adventures of Erec Rex as he searches for his mom and finds himself thrust into a world that he never imagined existed. He explores new lands, meets new people and tries to figure out where he and his mother fit into this bizarre world.

    Kingsley did a fantastic job of creating a fun, intriguing world with great characters that you could easily identify with. I loved how she took ordinary, every day things and twisted them up. For example, instead of just using the common name for a fast food place, she called them fastaurants. Just simple things like that added to the feel of the story. Kingsley did a great job of creating suspense, mystery and quite a lot of fun. There were times that I found myself laughing aloud, including a scene with a suit of armor that sent me into a flashback of the days when I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail over and over again. This first book left quite a lot of mysteries and questions unanswered and I can't wait to pick up the next novel to see what is revealed and to experience more of this great adventure.

    I highly recommend this book to everyone that enjoys a great fantasy. And if you personally don't like fantasy, but you have any kids in your life, you should definitely pick this up for them. It'll be a hit!

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  • Posted August 20, 2009

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    Reviewed by Samantha Clanton aka "Harlequin Twilight" for TeensReadToo.com

    How would you feel if, when you were twelve years old, your mother disappeared and, in the quest to save her, you left the real world and entered a world of magic and kings and queens? That's exactly what happened to Erec Rex.

    Erec is not your normal boy; he has a glass eye, his home contains things that are less than normal, and his brothers and sisters aren't as special as he is, but they are certainly unusual. When Erec gets a "cloudy thought," which are like visions, he knows his mother is in danger, and that he is the only one that can save her.

    As Erec begins his search he meets Bethany, a girl who is being raised by her mean uncle and forced to work at his newsstand. Bethany knows a way to help Erec, and so she joins him on his journey. When the two go through an unnoticed door in the sidewalk, they enter a world much different than their own.

    When they get to this world, called Alyphium, they find themselves in a contest to become the next rulers of the land. There are three rulers who will be replaced - King Piter, Queen Posey, and King Pluto. However, King Piter is sick and is slowly losing himself; the castle is quite literally on its side, and The Substance that holds the whole world together has gone askew. There is something very wrong in this magical world, and when things start happening and become dangerous, it's up to Erec, with the help of Bethany, to fix things.

    Although I first thought this was a knockoff of Harry Potter (and there are some correlations), this is a story with characters that are all their own. Kaza Kingsley has created an array of characters that are easily lovable and have depth. The story is adventurous and fun, with an element of danger and a "wait, did that really just happen?" quality.

    Once I finished, I was eager to continue onto the next book in the series, just to know what happens next! THE DRAGON'S EYE is a captivating read, and it stands to reason that with this cast of characters and the imagination of Ms. Kingsley, this could easily be the next phenomenon to sweep through the young adult fiction world.

    There is plenty of humor for those who prefer lighthearted but still slightly dim stories. By the end of page one, I was already laughing so hard I had to put the book down. I also found myself oddly wanting Erec's alarm clock. There are many more instances like this throughout the rest of the book, and this is definitely a novel that I would recommend to everyone.

    For the older audience, parts of the story are a bit predictable, but the writing and depth of the characters totally makes up for that. If you haven't heard of the EREC REX series before, or have overlooked it in the stores, then you should run, not walk, to the nearest bookstore and pick up your copy today!

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  • Posted August 19, 2009

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    Great story, fun read!

    How would you feel if, when you were twelve years old, your mother disappeared and, in the quest to save her, you left the real world and entered a world of magic and kings and queens? That's exactly what happened to Erec Rex.

    Erec is not your normal boy; he has a glass eye, his home contains things that are less than normal, and his brothers and sisters aren't as special as he is, but they are certainly unusual. When Erec gets a "cloudy thought," which are like visions, he knows his mother is in danger, and that he is the only one that can save her.

    As Erec begins his search he meets Bethany, a girl who is being raised by her mean uncle and forced to work at his newsstand. Bethany knows a way to help Erec, and so she joins him on his journey. When the two go through an unnoticed door in the sidewalk, they enter a world much different than their own.

    When they get to this world, called Alyphium, they find themselves in a contest to become the next rulers of the land. There are three rulers who will be replaced - King Piter, Queen Posey, and King Pluto. However, King Piter is sick and is slowly losing himself; the castle is quite literally on its side, and The Substance that holds the whole world together has gone askew. There is something very wrong in this magical world, and when things start happening and become dangerous, it's up to Erec, with the help of Bethany, to fix things.

    Although I first thought this was a knockoff of Harry Potter (and there are some correlations), this is a story with characters that are all their own. Kaza Kingsley has created an array of characters that are easily lovable and have depth. The story is adventurous and fun, with an element of danger and a "wait, did that really just happen?" quality.

    Once I finished, I was eager to continue onto the next book in the series, just to know what happens next! The Dragon's Eye is a captivating read, and it stands to reason that with this cast of characters and the imagination of Ms. Kingsley, this could easily be the next phenomenon to sweep through the young adult fiction world.

    There is plenty of humor for those who prefer lighthearted but still slightly dim stories. By the end of page one, I was already laughing so hard I had to put the book down. I also found myself oddly wanting Erec's alarm clock. There are many more instances like this throughout the rest of the book, and this is definitely a novel that I would recommend to everyone.

    For the older audience, parts of the story are a bit predictable, but the writing and depth of the characters totally makes up for that. If you haven't heard of the Erec Rex series before, or have overlooked it in the stores, then you should run, not walk, to the nearest bookstore and pick up your copy today!

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  • Posted June 24, 2009

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    Good, but too familiar

    This book was good, but not really imaginative; I found numerous similarities to the Harry Potter books. However, I found that this book had none of the excellence of Harry Potter. The story isn't bad, but the many similarities sort of ruined it. I mean, Erec's background is similar to Harry's, there's a magical entrance at a train station, a tournament
    (with a maze, no less), an assortment of magical foods, a castle with many secrets...I could go on and on. There are characters that strongly remind me of Hermione, Draco Malfoy, and Snape, among others. Items such as sceptars, invisibility caps, and instagills are also too similar to Harry Potter. There's even a magical sport, though it's pretty different from Quidditch.
    It seems like the author was trying to create a series almost identical to Harry Potter. This series, however, doesn't have the depth or intrigue that Harry Potter has; it seems a lot more simplistic. I won't say that it wasn't well-written, but there was minimal originality. Sadly, Erec Rex has many comparable elements to Harry Potter, but none of Harry Potter's magic.
    I hate starting a series and not finishing it, but I'm strongly considering not reading the other books.

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

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    A New Entry in the World of Young Adult Fiction

    Erec Rex is a 12 year old boy who has been living in a non-magical world, when he was actually born in a magical world. Sound familiar? Well, this is where the similarities between Erec Rex and Harry Potter end. For all those clamoring for a new fantasy series to read after the ending of Harry Potter, then look no further - Kaza Kingsley has given us a unique and interesting take on the world of magic.<BR/><BR/>Erec unknowingly enters the magical world of the Kingdom of the Keepers while searching for his mother. Erec has an unusual gift - the dark thoughts. When the dark thoughts take over Erec's mind, he must do what they say. When the dark thoughts tell him to go in search of his mother, he encounters a new friend, Bethany, who helps him search for his mother.<BR/><BR/>Erec soon finds himself in a tournament to become one of the new rulers of the Kingdom of the Keepers. The current rulers are King Piter, King Pluto and Queen Posey - but King Piter has been ill for over 10 years. It was King Piter's own children - triplets - who were to be the new rulers, but they mysteriously died as babies.<BR/><BR/>People are not always what they appear to be in the uniquely different world of magic and mayhem. Allies become enemies and enemies turn out to be friendly - it is unclear whom to trust in this newly created world.<BR/><BR/>This books gives you many unusual new items and animals, as well as magical devices:<BR/><BR/>Magical seeing eyeglasses - let you see the person you miss the most.<BR/>Cloudsicles - yummy snacks to eat.<BR/>Aniballs - different colored balls which turn into animals.<BR/>Inquizzles - will answer one question for you.<BR/>Nitrowisherine - a liquid that explodes, then grants a wish.<BR/><BR/>This is a wonderful new series for young adults, and adults who are young at heart. The second book in the series is The Monsters of the Otherness. The third book - The Search for the Truth - will be released this summer.

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  • Posted November 6, 2008

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    Absolutely Fantastic!

    "Erec Rex: The Dragon's Eye" is the first book in the "Erec Rex" series, which is planned to eventually be eight books long. Kaza Kingsley is a wonderful author and this book, her first novel, is definitely worth reading! It leaves readers definitely wanting more and more!!!

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  • Posted October 21, 2008

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    Very clever!

    "Erec Rex" is very clever! Kingsley has created an entire new world that once a reader experiences it he will never want to leave! This book has action, adventure, secrets, and awesomeness all packed into one marvelous novel! You are in for a treat if you decide to read this book!

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