The High Road (Elf Realm Series)

The High Road (Elf Realm Series)

by Daniel Kirk
     
 

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In The High Road, Matt and his sister Becky must work with the elves and Tomtar the troll to save the Cord and the human and elf worlds. After forming an uneasy alliance, Matt, the elf Tuava-Li, and Tomtar start on a quest to restore the tree whose roots make up the Cord at the northern pole, in order to bring well-being to all the realms.

Meanwhile, Becky

Overview

In The High Road, Matt and his sister Becky must work with the elves and Tomtar the troll to save the Cord and the human and elf worlds. After forming an uneasy alliance, Matt, the elf Tuava-Li, and Tomtar start on a quest to restore the tree whose roots make up the Cord at the northern pole, in order to bring well-being to all the realms.

Meanwhile, Becky accompanies Asra to free Becky’s parents, held captive in the elfin kingdom of Helfratheim. To their horror, both groups discover that Brahja-Chi has begun kidnapping human children for a mass sacrifice to appease the goddess. In addition to their tasks, they must also stop the fiendish Brahja-Chi and her accomplice, Jardaine, from continuing this atrocity.

Daniel Kirk’s trademark illustrations—including maps, character portraits, and other scenes—bring to life the riveting and engaging story.

Editorial Reviews

Catherine McTamaney
Book Two of the Elf Realm trilogy, The High Road offers in complexity what it lacks in character, introducing multiple new characters and increasingly menacing threats to the realm. Matt and Becky are again trying to preserve the Cord, the connection between the elf realm and the human world. In this installment, their quests are separate, providing more adventure but, unfortunately, more opportunity for the story to go awry. Attentive readers will notice when the magical rules of the elf realm contradict each other. Although the complex, multiple plots require the concentration of an older reader, the simpler, more predictable characters are more appropriate for younger readers. Falling short of the coherence of well-crafted fantasy, The High Road is most appropriate for readers who prefer traditional battle books. Reviewer: Catherine McTamaney
VOYA - Ann Welton
The hefty second volume in The Elf Realm triology follows siblings Matthew and Becky as they attempt to rescue their parents, who were taken in a raid by hostile Elves. Matt's situation is complicated by his relatively unwilling involvment in a quest to renew the world by journeying to the North Pole and planting a new seed for the Adri Tree, which the Elves view as the source of life. His belief that his sister, Becky, is safely bestowed with two elfin mages is ill founded, however, as Becky begins a quest of her own, accompanying Princess Asra (and eventually the evil prince, Macta) to Helfratheim, where her parents are imprisoned. The pacing of this tale is well-nigh impeccable, with fast action interspersed at just the right intervals with time for both characters and readers to catch breath and make sense of the alternate world view facing them. The rendition of the dual universes—crossing, separating, blending—is eerily compelling. Characterization remains a bit slack—the characters are more types than fully dimensional personalities—but it does not prevent the reader from caring about their situations and eagerly pressing on through the story. Compulsively readable, extended by black-and-white cartoon illustrations, this title should move where the previous volume has a following. Reviewer: Ann Welton
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Matt, 14, and his younger sister Becky have been living on the edges of the Elfin city Ljosalfar while their parents and baby sister are held captive. The elves have been preparing Matt for a quest to the North Pole that's supposed to help him rescue his family; what they haven't told him is that if done correctly, it will also cost him his life. Accompanied by Tuava-Li (an Elf) and Tomtar (a Troll), Matt heads back to the human world to search for maps. Meanwhile, Becky and Princess Asra start off on their own journey, stalked by Asra's presumed-dead former fiancé, Prince Macta. At the same time, an evil entity named Jal-Maktar has agreed to impersonate Macta and help gather a thousand human children for a grand sacrifice, for the small payment of a human soul every day, and the odd internal organ of almost-Mage Jardaine. Complicated, dark, and filled with strange illustrations in which it's hard to tell the humans from the otherworldly beings, this second book in the trilogy doesn't stand alone and probably won't attract many new readers. Buy only if the first is popular.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Following The Low Road (2008), this equally wide-body middle volume pitches teenager Matt and his nine-year-old sister Becky into the midst of a rogue mage's mad scheme to foment war between Faerie and all humanity. As the veil between worlds weakens, Matt and two pint-sized nonhuman companions set out in search of his captured parents and also a certain magical seed. First stop: the elven city of Argant (aka Pittsburgh), where the Faerie population is near anarchy. Meanwhile Becky ends up in Helfratheim-a center for munitions manufacture, where demagogic Mage Brahja-Chi is gathering 1,000 stolen human children for mass slaughter. Kirk creates a turbulent Faerie at odds with itself but united in its extreme hatred and fear of Humans. He also casts Matt with such a chip on his shoulder that it's a wonder he has any allies-though, indeed, even they have ulterior motives. The central plot is thin for the page count and the climax passes too quickly after all the buildup, but the ambitious tale's array of supernaturals may attract fans of all things fey. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810940758
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2009
Series:
Elf Realm Series
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
1,356,420
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Daniel Kirk has illustrated a number of popular and bestselling books for children, including Library Mouse, which Booklist praised in a starred review as a “show-stopper.” The Low Road, which received a starred review from Booklist, is his first novel; The High Road is his second. Daniel lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife and three children. Visit his web site at www.danielkirk.com.

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