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Along the southern coast of England, atop the White Cliffs of Dover, stands a castle. And at that castle’s old keep is an orphanage. Delphi Keep has seen many youngsters come and go through its gates, and Ian Wigby and his sister, Theodosia, are happy to call it home. Life has always been simple at the Keep, and the orphanage safe, until one day, Ian and Theo find a silver treasure box. And within the box, a prophesy....
Along the southern coast of England, atop the White Cliffs of Dover, stands a castle. And at that castle’s old keep is an orphanage. Delphi Keep has seen many youngsters come and go through its gates, and Ian Wigby and his sister, Theodosia, are happy to call it home. Life has always been simple at the Keep, and the orphanage safe, until one day, Ian and Theo find a silver treasure box. And within the box, a prophesy. Three thousand years ago a great Greek oracle wrote of a quest. A quest on which the fate of the world depends. A quest that names two children—Ian and Theodosia. Suddenly Delphi Keep is no longer safe. And Ian and Theo, along with a very special group of friends, realize they must unravel the meaning behind the scroll of Dover cavern before darkness falls on the world. And before an unfathomable evil catches up with them.
From the Hardcover edition.
Dover, England, September 1930
Ian Wigby sat on his cot, staring at the raging storm just beyond his window. It seemed that Lady Lightning and Master Thunder were having another argument, or so the headmistress Madam Dimbleby liked to say.
“That old married couple,” she would tell the children, “Lady Lightning and Master Thunder, sometimes have arguments, as married couples often do. Lady Lightning likes to keep her husband, Master Thunder, in line, you see, so she zaps him a good sting every now and again. But the master won’t have it, and he roars back at her. Give them a few hours to tire themselves out and they’ll soon settle down and let their daughter Mistress Rain have the sky all to herself again.”
Madam Dimbleby told the story of Lady Lightning and Master Thunder to all the orphans who came to live at Delphi Keep, to help them adjust to the turbulent weather that often visited their little patch of England. And it worked, if the seven sleeping boys behind Ian were any indication.
But Ian wasn’t fearful of the tempest outside. In fact, he’d never been afraid of any storm. Instead, he was fascinated by the brilliant light and the clapping thunder, and he loved storms at night best of all. Yet this squall brought a foreboding to him that he couldn’t quite shake, and for some time he’d been less interested in what was happening in the night sky and more absorbed in watching the ground below.
Deep in his five-year-old bones he knew that his life was about to change. Intently, he watched the road leading to the keep, a thin strip of black that he was just able to make out every time Lady Lightning sent a snap to her husband. There had been nothing on the road to call his attention, and yet he couldn’t take his eyes off it.
The clock at the foot of the stairs chimed. He counted as the old timepiece gonged eleven times.
Ian sighed. His eyelids were growing heavy and the storm was dying down. Perhaps he should give up his vigil and crawl under the covers. But just as he was about to turn and pull back the bedclothes, Lady Lightning sent a terrific zap across the sky and something on the road materialized out of the darkness. Ian squinted and rested his forehead on the windowpane. The form that had caught his attention appeared to be large.
Ian cupped his hands around his eyes, straining to peer into the darkness. There! Something moved! In fact, it was racing along the road toward the keep! As he watched, he began to put features to the form. It looked like a man on a horse, riding hard through the rain. Ian’s mouth fell open. He’d been right! Something exciting was about to happen.
He jumped out of bed and trotted on tiptoe to the other end of the long room, past the double rows of sleeping boys. He paused at the door and placed his ear at the crack. Soon he was rewarded with the banging of a fist on the heavy oak door of the keep.
For a moment the interior of the old fortress remained quiet, but just as he was about to open his door to get Madam Dimbleby, he heard her shuffling down the hallway with her cousin and companion headmistress, Madam Scargill.
“Who could that be at this hour?” he heard Madam Dimbleby ask.
“Whoever it is should be taught some manners!” Madam Scargill complained as more pounding echoed from downstairs.
Ian opened his door a crack and peered into the hallway, catching a glimpse of the back of Madam Scargill’s head as she descended the staircase. He waited a beat, then stepped into the hallway and crept to the railing. There was an old table butted up against the wooden slats with a small hole in the back that would give him both cover and a convenient spy hole. He scooted under the table just in time to see the headmistresses open the door and reveal a stranger.
A bony-looking man, soaked to the skin, stood in the doorway. His hair was long and stuck to his unshaven face. He wore a tattered coat and large black boots, and in the dim light he appeared quite frightful. “Please,” he said in a deep voice. “I come on a mission of mercy!”
The headmistresses had stepped back as they’d opened the door to the man, and Ian could see their doubtful expressions when they turned to each other in silent contemplation. As they hesitated, the man stepped forward and pulled something out from the folds of his coat. Both women gasped when they saw that it was a small child. “I found ’er not four hours ago,” he explained. “She was toddlin’ about in this muck, if you can believe it. I took ’er ’ome for a time to wait the rain out, but I don’t ’ave any food fit for ’er and up until a bit ago she was frettin’ as bad as this storm.”
“Oh, my!” said Madam Dimbleby as she hurried to take the child. After hugging the toddler to her chest and pulling the folds of her shawl about the babe, she asked, “Where on earth did you find her?”
“?’Er mum rents the cottage on the edge of me property,” the man said. “I found this little one wandering about in the field next to the ’ouse, so I went looking for ’er mum but she’s cleared out.”
“Cleared out?” Madam Scargill asked in her usual clipped speech. “What do you mean, ‘cleared out’?”
“All ’er belongings is gone. ’Er clothes, ’er trunk, all ’er personal things. There was this note, though,” he said, and once more he dug around in the folds of his coat, from which he fished a crumpled, damp letter that he held out to the women.
Madam Scargill took the paper, placing her half-glasses onto her nose before she read, “?‘I cannot stay any longer. The child would be in danger if she were found with me. Please get her safely to the orphanage at the keep near Castle Dover.’?”
“Horrible!” Madam Dimbleby exclaimed as she rocked the small child. “To abandon a helpless child and in the middle of a terrible night like this!”
“And how dreadful of her to leave the job of getting the girl to us up to any passing stranger,” sniffed Madam Scargill.
From the Hardcover edition.
Posted January 27, 2013
Do not start reading this series. The publishers have decided not to do the
fourth book and book three leaves you hanging. I started his series with my
kids and the youngest is crying that we will not find out what happens. Do
Yourself and your kids a favor and don't start this incomplete series.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2012
I've read several of the Victoria Laurie books geared toward adult readers, so I was a bit surprised to see that she had written a book directed at 5th-8th grade readers. I honestly couldn't imagine an author making a successful transition from what she normally writes, to children's' fiction. Oh boy was I wrong!!!! For starters, I read all the reviews on this book I could find and I was *really* aggravated! Several reviewers had compared this book to the Harry Potter series. That irritated me because there's just no way, I thought, that a reader going into this book with the mindset that it could be compared to Rowling's books would come away satisfied. I was prepared to - if not dislike it - at least be terribly disappointed. This book was nothing short of FANTASTIC! Intertwining sorcery, magic and the gift of "sight," Laurie tells a fantastic story of two orphans on the run for their lives after discovering a treasure box in an abandoned cave. As an adult, I was holding my breath and sitting on the edge of my seat within the first 20 pages. It was that good. Is it as good as the Harry Potter books? I think it's a terrible mistake to compare one book loved by so many to another; however, I will say that there are many wonderful similarities and I'm excited to read the rest of the series. I think it would be fantastic to see this book be made into a movie. A note to readers: I bought this book online, but went to my local B&N to purchase the rest of the series. I was DEVASTATED to realize that they didn't have a single one in stock, and not because they were sold out! They simply hadn't chosen to stock this book for reasons of their own. I was able to talk them into stocking one copy of each book to see how it went for sales. You might call your B&N first if you intend to walk into the store to purchase this book.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 12, 2015
This is an AWESOME series. However, I don't recommend you start it unless you don't mind to be left hanging. The 4th book will not be published and the third leaves you with quite a bit of a cliffhanger. I was very upset when I found out this series would not be continued.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2013
I read the three books of the series, and was waiting for the fourth to come out. And was waiting...and waiting. When I discovered that the publishers decided not to publish the final book I was furious! It's like going to a favorite restaurant and having appetizer and soup, then being told you have to make your own main course! I know I will never buy another
series book from Random House until the series is concluded. I feel betrayed!
Posted May 21, 2013
Posted June 26, 2012
Im not a history type of person but this was awesome i read it in book for but im rwady to buy it in nook form. Its a great book with many details that could b read over and over again. Loved it, savored it, and soaked in the book. I couldnt begin to tell u how amazing it is read buy it and you'll love it too.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 2, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. I read many books of similar genre but this book really stood out to me. If you are looking at this review to find out wether you should buy it or not, you should definitly get it. This is a great read for kids and adults of all ages.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 14, 2012
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Posted June 27, 2011
I'm almost done with this book sord of, but so far, its a GREAT book! I'm always reading it around night time, and its really creepy sometimes. But its really good. I recommend this to ANYBODY!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2011
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Posted November 23, 2010
This series is better than the Harry Potter series and we are huge fans of that series. I have read this one and the second one twice each. I can't wait until the third one. My son (11) flew through them. The characters are so real, you really find yourself rooting for them.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This is an excellent book. I am currently on book 2 The Curse of Deadman's Forrest and I can't put it down. Laurie mixes adventure, myths and mystery in the perfect combination to make this novel satisfying to its readers. I recommend it to girls and boys any where from ages 11-14. I guarantee you will love this book just as much as I do.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A friend of mine recommended this book to me and after I read it I picked it up and read it again. this book was great and I have been on the edge of my seat waiting for the next one to come out! I loved this book so much and I could think of nothing else until I was finished. If you get this book you will love it to. This book will absorb you completely.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 11, 2009
This book was a greatly entertaining read. The story is fantastic, I enjoyed it more than the Harry Potter series because the characters are well developed and the story flows excellently!!
I was disappointed to learn that I will have to wait until May 2010 to get the next book.
Posted May 31, 2009