The Second Siege (The Tapestry Series #2)

The Second Siege (The Tapestry Series #2)

4.4 85
by Henry H. Neff

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A fast-paced, genre-blending adventure—now in paperback!

The Tapestry series continues to weave threads of fantasy, mythology, science fiction, and mystery into a wholly original adventure that appeals to fans of everything from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to The X-Men. Genre-blending and fully illustrated, The Tapestry novels have caught

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A fast-paced, genre-blending adventure—now in paperback!

The Tapestry series continues to weave threads of fantasy, mythology, science fiction, and mystery into a wholly original adventure that appeals to fans of everything from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to The X-Men. Genre-blending and fully illustrated, The Tapestry novels have caught the attention of middle-grade and young adult readers alike—and the series is only getting bigger.

In this second book of the series, grave forces are converging to seize control of the Book of Thoth, a hidden artifact whose pages hold the key to creating—or unraveling—the very threads of existence. Max McDaniels and David Menlo embark on a quest to protect the book from the demon Astaroth, who would exploit its secrets with dire consequence. And with Astaroth free after centuries of imprisonment, the world outside Rowan’s gates has already become hostile.

Far from home, cut off behind enemy lines, Max and his allies must journey across Europe, descend into the fabled Frankfurt Workshop, brave the tangled corners of the Black Forest . . . and cross beyond the veils of our very world.

"After devouring this title, young fans will be clamoring for more."—Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
If you've read the first book in "The Tapestry" series (and you should), you already know that Max McDaniels and David Menlo are students at Rowan Academy, a school for kids with unusual talents. Now, the two are destined to come face-to-face with the demon Astaroth, who covets the Book of Thoth. The Book is a living record of all truenames, and the one who possesses and learns its secrets will gain mastery over the world. Young David has the power to unlock the key that will lead the boys to the Book. Max is sworn to protect David—no matter what. In doing so, he may become the greatest hero of his age. From the safety of Rowan Academy, their quest takes them to the fabulous Frankfurt Workshop and on to Ireland where after days (or is it weeks? months? years?) they take possession of the Book. But what awaits them on their return? Has the chaos of the world breached the walls of Rowan? Are Astaroth and his army poised to take all—even the hard-won Book? The action is fast-moving, and the pages virtually burst with an incredible cast of characters, two of the most engaging (admittedly in a gross sort of way) of whom are the reformed hags, Mum and Bellagrog. Mum, in any case, seems to have given up attempts to eat Rowan students (although she still makes David nervous). Although there are parallels to Harry Potter, this tale is highly original and a great choice for all who love fantasy. Illustrated with black-and-white drawings by the author. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

Fans of The Hound of Rowan (Random, 2007) will love this sequel. Those who haven't read the first book will simply be puzzled. In their second year at Rowan Academy, Max McDaniels and his roommate David Menlo, a mystic, discover that they must live with the Witches to fulfill a pact made years before they were born. To keep them and the Book of Thoth safe from the demon Astaroth and in the hands of Rowan agents, they are "kidnapped" by an ally. While on the run, the Red Branch offers to activate Max to be its newest agent. Initially, Max demurs but after dodging danger in Europe, finding his mother in the land of the Sidh, discovering his real father's identity, and having several harrowing encounters with Astaroth, he embraces his identity as the reincarnation of Cuchulain and joins as a full-fledged agent. The Second Siege is chock-full of magic, myth, and adventure, and has some fun and interesting characters and an intense, engaging plot. That said, without the background information from the first book, it will be hard for readers to follow.-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA

Kirkus Reviews
A series about an American academy of magic takes a dark turn in this sequel to The Hound of Rowan (2007). Max McDaniels is the chosen guardian of his magically powerful but physically weak roommate David Menlo. Their nemesis, the recently freed demon Astaroth, wishes to get his hands on the all-powerful Book of Thoth, and it's up to Max and David to find it first and keep it safe. Tensions within the school and in the outside world threaten to destroy our heroes' will, and in the end it falls on them to determine what is best for their friends and family. There is very little catching-up in this book, so readers will need to have read the previous novel to follow much of the action. Remarkably, given the breakneck pace, Neff's writing moves from scene to scene without breaking stride or ever pushing the action too far. Characters and motivations remain clear, though the surprise ending will leave certain readers reeling. After devouring this title, young fans will clamor for more. (Fantasy. 11-15)

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Tapestry Series, #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 11.06(h) x 1.24(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

~ 1 ~

The Witch

Deep within a tangled corner of Rowan’s Sanctuary, Max McDaniels crouched beneath a canopy of sagging pines. It had been ten minutes since he had spied a dark shape slinking among the gray foothills far below, and Max knew his pursuer would now be close. He unsheathed his knife, using the blade’s coat of phosphoroil to study the crude map he’d scrawled before setting out. The target was still far away. At this rate, he would never make it—this opponent was much faster than the others.

Shaking off the unpleasant realities, Max concentrated instead on the illusion he had created. The phantasm was a perfect replica of Max, down to its wavy black hair and the sharp, dark features that peered cautiously from a high perch in a nearby tree. He had taken care to mark the surrounding terrain with subtle signs of passage, knowing that a trained eye would spot them.

The shrill cry of a bird shattered the pre-dawn stillness.

Something was coming.

Max’s pulse quickened. He scanned the switchback below for any sign of his pursuer, but there was only the smell of damp earth and the low sigh of the wind as it blew tatters of mist across the mountain.

While the sky brightened to a thin wash of blue, Max watched and waited, still as a stone among the roots and nettles. Just when he had decided to abandon his position, a flicker of motion caught his eye.

One of the trees was creeping up the mountainside.

At least he had thought the shape was a tree—one of several bent and broken saplings clinging precariously to the slope’s dry soil. Slowly, however, the silhouette straightened and began to thread its way up through the sparse wood. It crept toward Max’s double, as dark and shrouded as a specter. When the figure was some twenty feet away, Max realized why he had been unable to shake the pursuer.

It was Cooper.

The Agent’s scarred and ruined face looked like a fractured mask of weathered bone. His pale skin was camouflaged with dirt; his telltale shoots of blond hair were tucked beneath a black skullcap. Reaching the base of the tree on which Max’s double was perched, he drew a thin knife from a sheath on his forearm. Its blade gleamed with phosphoroil.

Cooper began climbing the tree with the fluid ease of a spider.

While the Agent climbed, Max’s pupils slowly dilated. Terrible energies filled his wiry form, making his fingers twitch and tremble.

Max sprang from his hiding place.

Cooper’s head cocked at the sound as Max hurtled toward him with his knife.

Max’s weapon struck home, but instead of meeting flesh and bone, it passed through the figure to thud against the tree in a spray of bark. Cooper’s conjured decoy dissolved in a billow of black smoke and Max realized he’d been duped.

Max whipped his head around and spied the real Cooper darting out from a nearby thicket. The Agent closed the distance in five long strides. Shifting his knife to his left hand, Max swung himself up into the tree as Cooper’s blade whistled past his ribs.

Cooper seized Max’s wrist in a grip of iron. “You’re caught,” he hissed.

With a terrible wrench, Max pulled himself free and sliced his own knife across Cooper’s shoulder, leaving a bright line of phosphoroil on the black fabric. Cooper gave a grunt of surprise. Slashing the Agent again, Max leapt clear of the tree.

In one fluid movement, Max landed and bolted up the path, veering right at the fork and dashing up the steep trail he had marked on the map. Cooper trotted after him, apparently unconcerned that Max was increasing his lead with a burst of Amplified speed. Ignoring Cooper for the moment, Max focused his attention on the coppery summit as he raced up the mountain, climbing steadily above the timberline.

It was ten minutes of hard running before Max spied a small white pennant fluttering from a distant peak of jagged rock. He fixed its position in his memory and grinned in spite of himself. Another ten minutes at this pace and he would be victorious.

As he ran on, however, his breathing was reduced to shallow gasps and then to agonizing, frantic swallows as the air became unbearably thin. A quick glance behind revealed that Cooper had closed to a hundred yards and was running as evenly as ever. Max spat on the path and increased his pace, coughing as he climbed.

The pennant was tantalizingly close, but the pain and dizziness became overwhelming. Tiny motes of light swam before Max’s eyes; his mouth felt as if it were full of hot sand. Stumbling over a rock, he spilled onto the ground, scraping his knee and dropping his knife. He scrambled to his feet just as a blurred shape came into view.

Cooper stood ten feet away, his sturdy black boot planted squarely on the hilt of Max’s knife.

The Agent’s eyes were locked on Max. His chest rose and fell in long, slow breaths as he flicked a cold glance at the red patch on Max’s uniform. The patch was a target, positioned directly over Max’s heart. A successful strike there signified a kill and would bring the exercise to an abrupt finish.

“Do you submit?” came Cooper’s clipped Cockney accent.

Max paused a moment, crouched in a defensive posture while he considered Cooper’s offer.

The very instant Max made his decision, the Agent reacted so swiftly, it was as though he had read Max’s mind. Before Max had even moved, Cooper flicked his wrist and sent the thin black knife darting toward the patch on Max’s chest.

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The Second Siege (The Tapestry Series #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Hound of Rowan set the tone for this exciting series--introducing us to the intriguing characters and world of Rowan Academy with warmth, humor and a fantastical dose of magic. The Second Siege turns that world upside down, starting with the arrival of a mysterious visitor who sets events into motion that will change Max's life¿-and the world at large--forever. Max and his roommate David embark on an epic journey that takes them away from the safety of Rowan into the chaos around them--from the burning streets of Spain to a wildly technocentric underworld in Frankfurt, Germany and an alternate, time-bending universe. All of this is vividly laid out by Neff, who deftly balances the action with strong character development, emotional weight and moments of laughter to break the tension (hot diggity!). It's clear that while weaponry, physical strength and mysticism will help in the battle against the coldly cunning villain, Astaroth, the ultimate keys to survival are the bonds of friendship and love. The Second Siege kicks The Tapestry into high gear. It's a darker, more thrilling tale that will draw kids deeper into this exciting and imaginative series. Can't wait to see what happens next!
Akira-san More than 1 year ago
The Tapestry Second Siege is an adventurous tale filled with magic and hardships. Boisterous rash Max and fragile calculating David embark on a journey that takes them to different locations throughout the vast world searching for clues about the whereabouts of the all powerful Book of Thoth before it falls into the evil clutches of the demon Astaroth. The book contains the secrets to the world, from the beginning of time to the distant future. Whoever has possession over the book will most likely be invincible. Max and David mature throughout much strife and hardship. By the end of the book, they have a whole new perspective of the way they see things and it seems as if they're different people. Overall, I feel that it was a very enjoyable book to read. From the beginning to the end, the author, Henry Neff, had me completely immersed in his tale. It had me guessing on the next thing that would happen; it's one of the very few books where there's actually a feeling that the protagonist won't win. Neff describes his scenes with such vivid detail that I'm able to clearly picture the whole story in my mind as if I were watching a movie. The book contains some historical references such as the paintings in the archives. Neff creates emotional scenes that made me cringe and cry. I could really feel from the perspective of the characters, such as the adrenaline rush and feeling of desperation that Max feels throughout his many tribulations. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy or genres relating to magic and adventure. My rating for this book would be a 9.5 out of 10. [this book would easily compare to the ever so popular Harry Potter series.]
JeffB More than 1 year ago
The Story is great probaly in my top 5. Really grabs you absorbes you in and makes you wanna be someone in the story. I wish i could go to Rowan and you will to after you read this story. Great to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿The Second Siege¿ is book two of The Tapestry that takes the series to a thrilling and sophisticated new level. You become deeply involved with the two main characters Max and David as they grow and develop. You can¿t help but personally feel their highs and lows throughout. I am a serious Harry Potter fan but may have found its rival. This is a great book! I can¿t wait for the next one in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ah, a writer who can construct a sentence AND narrate a story arc. Very entertaining, a pleasure to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I work in the book industry, and consider myself on most occasions to have a pretty good taste in children's literature. If this first chapter is any indication, your second volume will blow my mind even more than the first. Congrats Henry, it is wonderful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was much more original, and well written compared to book one. I am glad I did not give up on the series. Following a mediocre beginning, Neff finally comes into his own and writes a terrific continuation of the story following Max.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading the book, I was amazed. It is even better than the first! The characters are so real, and the locations, wow. I could see everything in such detail. The action races, and the swords are swinging in this phenomenal sequel. Look out JKR, you're about to be outdone by Henry Neff! Congrats Henry!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brilliant Sequel, September 23, 2008 By Mind'sEye - See all my reviews As compellingly exciting and funny as The Hound of Rowan is, book two of The Tapestry takes the series to a thrilling and sophisticated new level. The story expands exponentially--geographically across the globe, with significant consequences for the world, and an indication of the tremendous challenges to be faced by the chosen young heroes Max and David. To meet these demands, they must grow up strong and fast, and their personal development is as fascinating as the circumstances in which they find themselves. The Second Siege is filled with exciting action, mythological grandeur, and much to think about in terms of both the formation of personal character and the larger stage of history.
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Awesome book to read
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This book is amazing and i just wanted the book to never end. But it did this series will keep you waanting more
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Lots of magic, suspense and heroism; a fun read for the fantasy lover.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book of the tapestry series Max is put through the worst and David even more so. Max and David go through everything from scientific wonders to "fairy tale creatures" of the worst types. Even our terrifying agent Cooper,and our retired hag mum have an important role to play. I'm almost positive you'll love this book just as much as the first one. P.S. Alex Munoz is aoso there.
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