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Gr 7 Up
This lyrical and complex tale of adventure and betrayal set in sixth-century Africa continues the story of 12-year-old Telemakos, who is recovering from the mental and physical abuse he suffered as a government spy in The Sunbird (Viking, 2004). His troubles are nowhere near done-he's attacked by one of the emperor's pet lions and loses an arm. His cover may have been blown as well. He and his baby sister are sent to live with Abreha, ruler of Himyar-once the enemy of the Aksumites, now possibly an ally, but definitely not to be completely trusted, as the young prince soon learns. Much of this story is based on events in The Sunbird and earlier stories in the saga, and names, places, and relationships are sometimes difficult to understand. That said, the writing is powerful and the characters are strong and memorable. Telemakos is a fascinating character: intelligent, loving, deeply scarred, and yet almost extraordinarily brave. There's a fairly graphic description of a crucifixion midway through. This is a challenging story complete with a cliff-hanger ending. Readers who make the effort (and start with the earlier book) will be richly rewarded.
—Mara AlpertCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Posted January 13, 2010
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