Mines of the Minotaur (Companions Quartet Series #3)

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Thirteen-year-old Connie Lionheart is the only Universal Companion, able to communicate with all the mythical creatures hidden in our world. She is the most important member of a secret society sworn to protect the bonds between humans and creatures. But her power brings great responsibility and great danger.

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Thirteen-year-old Connie Lionheart is the only Universal Companion, able to communicate with all the mythical creatures hidden in our world. She is the most important member of a secret society sworn to protect the bonds between humans and creatures. But her power brings great responsibility and great danger.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy DaPolito
Connie Lionheart is the only universal companion, the human who can communicate with all the mythical creatures in the world, but at thirteen, Connie has difficulty controlling her powers, and there is no one to teach her how. Early in this third book of the eco-fantasy series, "The Companions Quartet," Connie twice calls up violent storms along the English coast where she lives, once while sleep walking and again when she is upset because her good friend Col has told a fatherly member of the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures about the cause of the first storm. When Dr. Brock asks the trustees of the Society for help, they send their newest member, Mr. Coddrington, who distrusts Connie and expels her from the society instead of investigating the problem. Dr. Brock, Col, Connie's Aunt Evelyn, and other friends appeal the expulsion, and a few days later the other four trustees, their mythical companions, and all the local Society members assemble to hear the appeal. Meanwhile, Connie has entered an abandoned mine where a half-blinded minotaur protects a troop of mythical creatures who've been wounded by pollution and other manmade environmental problems. With Connie's reluctant permission, the minotaur leads Col, Dr. Brock, and the rock dwarf, Gard, into the mazes of Connie's mind in an effort to discover what is happening. In the center, they discover a large black area, which Col recognizes as the mark of Kullervo, the enemy of humanity and Connie's counterpart in the dark world. Older and more experienced, he is determined to control her. After this knowledge is made public at the appeal, the minotaur leads all the trustees into Connie's mind, but the treachery of Mr.Coddrington's weather giant companion unleashes Kullervo, and a wild battle ensues. Kullervo is finally ousted from Connie's mind, and the trustees assign the rock dwarf to be her mentor. The story is filled with intriguing characters, both human and mythical, and the background of Connie's everyday life in school among humans who know nothing of the drama going on around them contributes to the book's attraction. Reviewer: Judy DaPolito
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

This fantasy follows Secrets of the Sirens and The Gorgon's Gaze (both Marshall Cavendish, 2007). Though certain humans have the secret ability to bond with particular types of mythical creatures, 13-year-old Connie is the only one who can communicate with all species. When she unintentionally begins to raise violent storms, she learns that her power has a dark side. It turns out that the evil shape-shifter Kullervo is to blame, but the far more frightening foe is bureaucrat Ivor Coddrington, who removes Connie from the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures and threatens expulsion to any member who associates with her. Connie prevails against both enemies with help from friends. The camaraderie and mutual respect shared by characters of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and even species are believable and uplifting. A debate about constructing a wind farm to generate environmentally sustainable power (the winged creatures are opposed) thoughtfully integrates ecological issues into the story. Golding falters when it comes to creating and sustaining atmosphere; the setting is occasionally thin, and Kullervo never seems truly present or threatening. Despite these flaws, fans of the series will enjoy watching Connie and her friends triumph and grow.-Megan Honig, New York Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Golding's series about epic environmental danger continues its steady, gentle tone. Connie, Col and some relatives and friends are members of a secret Society, charged with protecting pegasi, frost wolves, water sprites and other creatures assumed to be imaginary. Each human is companion to one type of creature, except Connie, who's a Universal. She's vastly powerful, but her training's been vague and mentorless. When she inadvertently conjures dangerous weather, the Society panics. A sour trustee expels Connie, while loyal friends cautiously venture inside her mind, seeking the hidden darkness that causes her to raise storms. It's the mark of evil Kullervo, who left a contact point inside her in the past. Kullervo is evil's embodiment, and he's also nature's vengeance for human pollution. Golding's physical scope stays safely within a small coastal region and shoreline, but the battle affects all of earth's humans and wildlife. Global warming and psychoanalytic symbolism move to the forefront; some readers may wish for a less victimized heroine, but earnest narration and an ocean battle carry the day. (Fantasy. 9-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761453024
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Series: Companions Quartet Series , #3
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,352,598
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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