Secrets of the Crown (Familiars Series #2)

Secrets of the Crown (Familiars Series #2)

4.6 147
by Adam Jay Epstein
     
 

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Get familiar with the familiars!

Chaos erupts in Vastia when the evil Paksahara steals the Shifting Fortress and casts a spell to rob all humans of their magic. Now it's up to the three chosen ones, Aldwyn, Skylar, and Gilbert, to reverse the curse. Using only their wits, their magic, and their trust in one another, the three friends must embark on a dangerous

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Overview

Get familiar with the familiars!

Chaos erupts in Vastia when the evil Paksahara steals the Shifting Fortress and casts a spell to rob all humans of their magic. Now it's up to the three chosen ones, Aldwyn, Skylar, and Gilbert, to reverse the curse. Using only their wits, their magic, and their trust in one another, the three friends must embark on a dangerous quest to retrieve the Snow Leopard's Crown—their last hope to defeat Paksahara—before it's too late.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Deborah Cooper
The second novel in the Familiars series finds the animal companions on a new quest. Paksahara, a gray hare and long-time familiar of Queen Loranella, turns traitor in a bid to seize power for his animal brethren. He casts a spell to prevent humans from performing magic, which wreaks havoc on the entire kingdom. Aldwyn the cat, Skylar the blue jay, and Gilbert the tree frog must find the Crown of the Snow Leopard, an ancient relic that can restore magical abilities to humans. Led by clues in a rhyme, the Prophesied Three journey into unknown lands. Besides battling giant bookworms, drooling echo beasts, and tongueless cave shamans, each familiar must grow in skill and bravery. Themes of friendship, belonging, and loyalty also underscore the tale. The fast pace, magical twists, and light humor will entertain young readers. The animals' point of view is engaging, and the three companions charm readers with their banter. Occasional black-and-white illustrations help the story pop. The writing, however, is weaker and more predictable than other titles in the genre, which curtails the suspense. The protagonists face challenges that are mere bumps in the road, conveniently overcome with unseen assistance. The potential to create a unique and engrossing story remains unfulfilled. Besides the obvious appeal for fans of the first novel, this title will also draw in readers who feel daunted by Harry Potter and those just looking to sample the fantasy genre. A cliffhanger ending ensures there will be more adventures to come. Reviewer: Deborah Cooper
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
This second book in the series opens with the devastation of all magical powers of humans in the Queendom of Vastia due to a spell cast by the evil hare Paksahara. Aldwyn the cat, Skylar the blue jay, and Gilbert the tree frog embark on a quest to find the Crown of the Snow Leopard, the key to breaking the curse. The familiars travel without their wizard companions using the lyrics of a lullaby to metaphorically decipher clues along the way. Aldwyn's journey is also personal as he learns about the father he never knew. Not all is as it appears. Seeming enemies sometimes prove to be friends and supposed allies are actually cohorts of Paksahara. The familiars reach the site of the Crown, but are not quick enough in deciphering the clues to prevent the onslaught of the Dead Army, composed of skeletal wolves, zombie bears, and ghoulish animals of varying sizes and shapes. And thus, this book ends with an obvious need for the next in the series. Fans of the first book will enjoy the action and suspense of this latest one in "The Familiars" series. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—In this sequel to The Familiars (HarperCollins, 2010), the traitorous rabbit familiar Paksahara has gained control of the Shifting Fortress, enabling her to cast powerful spells; in her bid to overthrow humans, she has eliminated their ability to do magic. Animals retain their magical ability, so familiars Skylar the blue jay, Gilbert the tree frog, and Aldwyn the cat set off on a journey through strange and exotic lands to find the Crown of the Snow Leopard, which will allow them to locate the Shifting Fortress. The cliff-hanger ending ensures at least one more installment. The writing isn't the strength of this book—characters are painted broadly and tend to make pronouncements in pompous fantasy-speak. However, the familiars' adventures are exciting, and the revelations about Aldwyn's long-lost parents are touching. Fans of the first book will be pleased, and the story will also appeal to readers of animal fantasy series like Erin Hunter's "Warriors" (HarperCollins) and Kathryn Lasky's "The Guardians of Ga'hoole" (Scholastic)—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780007371785
Publisher:
HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:
01/28/2012
Series:
Familiars Series, #2
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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