Island of Fire (Unwanteds Series #3)

Island of Fire (Unwanteds Series #3)

4.6 65
by Lisa McMann

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The fate of Artimé is at stake—and an unlikely alliance could redeem it—in book three in the New York Times bestselling Unwanteds series.

The magical world of Artimé is gone. The Unwanteds have no food, no water, and no hope. And everyone is looking to Alex Stowe for answers.

Overwhelmed and feeling totally helpless, Alex knows


The fate of Artimé is at stake—and an unlikely alliance could redeem it—in book three in the New York Times bestselling Unwanteds series.

The magical world of Artimé is gone. The Unwanteds have no food, no water, and no hope. And everyone is looking to Alex Stowe for answers.

Overwhelmed and feeling totally helpless, Alex knows it’s up to him to find a way to restore Artimé, rescue his captive friends, and free Megan from her voice-stealing necklace of thorns—three impossible tasks. But could help lie with the silent, orange-eyed newcomers?

Meanwhile, in the stark land of Quill, Alex’s twin brother Aaron continues to build his army, preparing for the ultimate showdown with the Unwanteds. But a shocking twist reveals that Alex and Aaron share a common enemy more dangerous than either could have imagined...

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jeanna Sciarrotta
Artime is gone and everyone is looking to Alex to restore it. This third book in the “Unwanteds” series picks up right where the second left off. Mr. Today is dead and many of the Artimeans have given up hope that their magical world will ever reappear. More and more of them head back to Quill rather than wait around and hope that Alex can put the clues together in order to fix everything before they run out of food and water. Meanwhile, Megan is still living a life of silence until they can get the thorn necklace off of her and none of the others have even returned from their failed trip to Warbler. Back in Quill, however, Alex’s twin brother Aaron is not fairing much better as he becomes more and more power hungry and his inabilities as a ruler are a perfect juxtaposition for the modest, under confident Alex. The series turns from its dystopian beginnings to a full on fantasy adventure in book three and Alex develops into an unforgettable leader and hero of his people. Readers should not pick up this book until first reading the other two. Everyone will be left in extreme anticipation for the next installment of this series. Reviewer: Jeanna Sciarrotta; Ages 8 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—This third book in the series begins in the ruins of what was once the world of Artimé, where the residents are now suffering greatly. When their beloved leader, Mr. Today, was killed at the end of the previous book, all of his magic that created Artimé died with him. There is very little food or fresh water and things are growing desperate. Two Artiméans are held captive in neighboring Quill while two more are prisoners on Warbler, the next island in the chain. Mr. Today left young Alex Stowe in charge and gave him a clue to a spell that could restore Artimé to its former magical state. Alex needs the help of his best friend, Meghan, and Sky, a refugee from Warbler, to decipher the riddle, but both of them have been silenced with a horrible spell that has embedded metal thorns into their throats. Meanwhilie on Warbler, Lani and Samheed literally cling to each other while they are confined in total darkness, developing their own language of spelling by hand and growing closer to each other. Alex and his friends must re-create Artimé and rescue those held captive. The book closes with a period of recuperation and a celebration which is marred by troubling new developments, leaving plenty of clues for a fourth book. The pacing is slow for most of the narrative, interspersed with angst that seems unnecessary. Still, there is a lot here to delight middle-grade readers and fans of the series will certainly be glad to get their hands on this installment.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Lib. Wisconsin Rapids
Kirkus Reviews
McMann builds her newly minted mage's self-confidence, firms up some emotional hookups and pitches her burgeoning cast into a series of rescues in this middle volume. The story opens with a crisis carried over from the previous episode and closes with a sudden attack by parties unknown. In between, Alex Stowe solves a riddle left by founding wizard Marcus Today to restore the Unwanteds' magic school of Artimé, then leads an expedition of magical squirrelicorns, origami dragons and other constructs, along with the giant, flying, stone cheetah Simber, to Warbler Island to rescue imprisoned fellow students Samheed and Lani. Meanwhile, Alex is also bumbling his way through a growing attachment to Sky (who makes his heart "swish") while his evil Wanted twin, Aaron, is shakily usurping the office of high priest in neighboring Quill. Readers who aren't fresh on the content of the two preceding volumes will struggle to keep all the characters distinct, but the author chucks in comical byplay and even vomit jokes to keep things from getting too serious, and she breaks the tale into dozens of short chapters to goose up the action. Projected to run through four more volumes, the storyline doesn't advance much here--but the quick pace, unresolved issues and Hogwarts-ian setting will keep the audience Wanting more. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Product Details

Publication date:
Unwanteds Series , #3
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.30(d)
HL810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Unwanteds Island of Fire

  • It was as if Artimé had never existed.

    In the weeks since the death of Marcus Today, Alexander Stowe was often seen sitting on a rickety stool, staring out the window of the gray shack, clouding the glass with his breath. Sometimes he leaned his head of dark tangled curls or pressed a dirty cheek against the pane to catch a few moments of sleep when he could stay awake no longer.

    Today was no different. He stared even now, but he wasn’t seeing anything at all.

    In his hand he gripped a piece of paper with a colorful border, which was beginning to smudge, and he never let it go even though he’d memorized the words on it. It was his last message from Mr. Today, a cryptic, poetic spell that would fix all Alex’s problems if only he could decipher the clues. He went over the words for the millionth time in his mind.

    Follow the dots as the traveling sun,

    Magnify, focus, every one.

    Stand enrobed where you first saw me,

    Utter in order; repeat times three.

    The only thing Alex truly understood about the clue was the “enrobed” part. Mr. Today had been famous for his colorful robes, and Alex imagined there was some hint of magic to the robes themselves—there must be if Alex had to wear one to make the world of Artimé come back. Alex had the good fortune of possessing the only robe in existence at this moment—the one Mr. Today had been wearing when Alex’s Wanted twin brother, Aaron, killed him. The robe was Alex’s only symbol of hope in a time that could not possibly be any darker.

    “You should eat something,” said a voice at Alex’s shoulder. It was Henry Haluki, Lani’s younger brother, and next to him stood the Silent boy, a ring of thorns threaded through the skin around his neck. When Alex turned and focused his bleary eyes on the boys, Henry held out a good-sized half shell he’d been using as a small bowl.

    Alex smiled and took it. “Thanks,” he said, breathing in the faint smell of a weak seafood broth. His empty stomach snarled, begging for it, but Alex hesitated. The Unwanteds were beginning to starve. He handed it back to Henry and shook his head. “Give it to Meg,” he said. “No, wait . . . to Carina Fathom and her baby. They need it most.” Alex swallowed hard and turned away so he wouldn’t be tempted to grab it back again. It would be a sign of acceptance to Carina, who was so mortified that her mother, Eva, had turned against Artimé that she couldn’t bear to look Alex in the eye.

    Henry frowned, but he shuffled away obediently and left the shack carrying the soup. The Silent boy followed him, both of them careful not to disturb any sleeping bodies on the floor. After a minute Alex stood up, stretched his tired limbs, and left too. He walked around to the front of the shack, maneuvering over the still body of Jim, the winged tortoise, whose mosaic back sparkled in the sunshine, until he reached Florence, frozen in full stride. Nimbly he climbed, using Florence’s legs and arms as a ladder, and he swung his body up to the roof as if he’d done it dozens of times.

    He lifted a hand to shield his eyes and looked west, in the direction of the two islands that dotted the ocean. “Follow the dots as the traveling sun,” he muttered. “The dots have got to mean the islands, but . . . ” He didn’t finish the sentence because there were so many unknowns. The phrase didn’t even make sense. And then the next line—“magnify, focus, every one.” How could Alex magnify and focus on the islands? He was stuck on this island. He couldn’t get any closer. He had no binoculars. Sometimes, when conditions were less favorable, he couldn’t even see the more distant one. And “every one”? There were only two visible, though Simber had told him once that there were actually three in that direction. Mr. Today certainly would’ve said “both” if he meant only the two he could see, but the clue said “every one.” Could Mr. Today have meant to include the island of Quill, too? And what about the rest of the chain that they couldn’t see, to the east? There were seven islands in all, with Quill in the center, Simber had said. . . .

    Oh, Simber. A wave of grief flooded Alex. He closed his eyes for a moment. Nightmares had plagued him since Simber had plunged into the sea, deadweight. All the rest of the creatures Mr. Today had created in Artimé had ceased to be alive then too, from the moment of the mage’s death. The mansion and every wonderful thing in it was gone. Worse, two of Alex’s best friends remained missing on Warbler Island, where the Silents had come from, and Alex had no means by which to search for them.

    Alex shook his head. “I don’t know what to do,” he whispered.

    Just then he heard a shout from the gate that led to Quill. He stood up on the roof to see what was happening. The shout had come from Henry, who lay sprawled on the dusty ground. Two other Unwanteds ran off through the gate and disappeared into Quill, with the Silent boy giving chase. Henry didn’t move.

  • Meet the Author

    Lisa McMann is the New York Times bestselling author of the middle grade dystopian fantasy series The Unwanteds, the YA paranormal Wake trilogy, and several other books for kids and teens. She lives with her family in the Phoenix area. Check out Lisa's website at, learn more about The Unwanteds Series at, and be sure to say hi on Instagram or Twitter (@Lisa_McMann), or Facebook (

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    Island of Fire 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love the series!!! There are going to be 7 books!!!
    DrDWebb More than 1 year ago
    I love the Unwanteds series. Lisa McMann really knows how to right good stuff. Her characters are always memorable and easy to identify with. Her plots are second to none. Island of Fire, McMann’s latest book, serves up a delightfully good tale filled with magic.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I can't wait for it to come out! I just love the series!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Im 12 and this book is awesome i read it in a day and i have to say this is a great book and good job lisa mcmann
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Best book ever, thhis series is the best ever! I recommend reading this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    there is a forth one called island of legends that comes out september 14 2014
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This series is soooo amazing I love it I heard there are 8 books in the series I can't wait to read the rest
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    is there gonna be a book 4
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    What caught my interest in this series was the mention of The Unwanteds being a cross between Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Such a great read...couldn't put the book down.
    Anonymous 8 months ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Its so AWESOME!!!!!!!:):):);):P
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    At puppies res 4
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Its awesome and action packed. I cant wait to read the next one! C:C
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Best series ever
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Lisa MicMan you should give 500 free iland of fire books and to Westmorland rafle 20 of your brand new books plase;) if you dont you will make me sad:( *
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I wanna know what happens next NOOOOOOOO!! Why why another cliff hanger!!!! WHYYYYYY!!!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Hope and victory rise.:):):):):):):);):):):)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    One of the best books I've ever read.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I also like this book just have to finish Island of Silence and read Hunger games or Harry Potter or Maze Runner. Reply by #unwanted reader :) boyah