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The Legend Thief

The Legend Thief

5.0 3
by E. J. Patten, John Rocco (Illustrator)

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Sky has more monsters to fight—and lives to save—in the sequel to Return to Exile.

Sky thought he had problems before. “Before” as in when his uncle disappeared, he had to move to an odd new town with his family, and, oh yeah, it was up to him to make sure the world’s deadliest monster didn’t escape from his prison.


Sky has more monsters to fight—and lives to save—in the sequel to Return to Exile.

Sky thought he had problems before. “Before” as in when his uncle disappeared, he had to move to an odd new town with his family, and, oh yeah, it was up to him to make sure the world’s deadliest monster didn’t escape from his prison. But none of that compares to now. “Now” as in when the entire Hunters of Legend are coming to Exile with one mission: kill Sky. Well, Sky thought there was only one mission, but the longer he stays alive, the more he realizes that there is something else afoot. And all those friends that he kept in the dark to keep them safe? Turns out he might have to ask them to risk their lives yet again to stop an unspeakable evil from wreaking havoc on the world.

With art from the illustrator of the Percy Jackson series and praise from New York Times bestselling writers—including Brandon Mull, author of the Beyonders and Fablehaven series, and James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials—The Hunter Chronicles blend bravery and humor into a breathtaking adventure.

Editorial Reviews

Brandon Mull
"A complex tale brimming with imagination."
James Dashner
"Return to Exile marks the beginning of a remarkable new series. I loved the characters, and its originality and intensity kept me ripping through the pages. A stunning book."
Children's Literature - Barbara Monroe
This is the second book in the “Hunter Chronicles” series. The story begins with a witch introducing a dark world where two characters, Alexander and Simon Rose, are intent on getting the “Eye” from someone called Bedlam. They need the Eye to stop the Arkhon from destroying the Hunters. Unfortunately, the Eye is attached to Bedlam’s forehead. They cannot kill him. He will not give them the Eye so Alexander and Solomon Rose seal him in a cocoon that can only be opened using Alexander’s sword. The next chapter begins over four hundred years later. Sky, with a group of friends, is surveying damage to a bowling alley’s back door and they conclude that some kind of monster must have done the damage. Just as they are about to go in the monster explodes through the door. Sky and his friends try to fight these plant-like creatures that seem to multiply with ease. Then Piebalds, blackbird-like creatures, show up and seem to be communicating with Sky. Sky does something called “edgewalking,” where his body is left behind and his mind melds with the Piebald. He is a “mind” passenger. The Piebald’s take him to his home where people are trying to kill him. All of these events occur in just one chapter. At times the story is confusing and yet the writing makes for exciting action. There is more telling about situations and not enough showing. Sometimes the action scenes, while very detailed, are confusing or overwhelming. Every now and then a modern reference is made, making it even more confusing. I am not sure reading the first book would make the characters and their quest clearer, but it might help. Otherwise, this story will keep you wondering why you care about the characters and what is happening in the plot. Reviewer: Barbara Monroe; Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Sky Weathers and his band of monster hunters are about to face another challenge. Bedlam, an ancient and powerful beast able to enter his victim's mind and steal it, is on his way to Exile with his army of monsters. He was trapped in a chrysalis hundreds of years ago, but now his spirit is free. He is coming for Sky, because the 12-year-old possesses both the Hunter's Mark and the Eye of Legend Mark. If he takes over Sky's body, he will be even more powerful than if he can regain his own. The Hunters of Exile are determined to stop Bedlam, and their solution is to kill Sky before Bedlam can reach Exile. As Sky and his friends search for another way to save Exile, they also uncover a deeper, more sinister plot-one that reveals a traitor in the Hunters' midst. This novel is a nonstop action adventure with lots of imagination and unique mythology. The myriad cast is interesting, though Sky is the obvious focus and the most developed. Kids won't care, though, because this is not the kind of book you read for depth of character. Though it would be best to read the series in order, it's not imperative. Give this inventive fantasy to fans of Scott Mebus's Gods of Manhattan (Dutton, 2008), Suzanne Collins's Gregor the Overlander (Scholastic, 2003), and Jenny Nimmo's "Charlie Bone" series (Scholastic), and watch it fly off the shelves faster than a Piebald.—Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL
Kirkus Reviews
After moving to Exile and watching his Uncle Phineas get attacked then disappear (Return to Exile, 2011), Sky learned that monsters are real. A year later, he is monster-hunting with his friends when a greater threat comes to light. Morton, Phineas' foe and father of the imprisoned Hunter of Legend Solomon Rose, intends to free his son and bring to fruition Solomon's nefarious plan to claim the powers that the monster Legend had held over "all other forces and nature itself." The only threat to the agenda is Legend's son, Bedlam, who is physically incapacitated but able to Edgewalk and thus possess another's body. Sky's oddities make him the most likely host; therefore, Morton wants Sky dead. Fans of the first book will continue to root for snarky, wily Sky; new readers will thrill at the monster clashes--especially the one that occurs in the middle of the homecoming game (Sky's bossy, cheerleader sister leads players and hunters forward in team formation: "Hike!"). All will continue to be perplexed by the complex back story and the confusing cast of characters and monsters who change loyalties, identities and shapes. Some threads are left dangling, no doubt to be tied up in future installments, and another plot twist is revealed in the epilogue to hook readers. Alas, many will be unwilling to return to Exile. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Hunter Chronicles Series , #2
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


Down in the Dumps

Over Four Hundred Years Later

You think it’s wired?” Sky asked, surveying the bowling alley’s broken back door from his hiding place next to the Dumpster.

A high falsetto voice sang from the bowling alley like a cat strangling another cat that was, in turn, being strangled by a man with very small hands and a personal vendetta against cats.

“I hope not,” said Andrew, dumping an armload of garbage out of the Dumpster. Sky sifted through it until he found an old soda fountain hose to replace the one on his Pounder that he’d lost to an overaggressive Barrow Hag earlier that day. He hated taking the time for it, especially while they were so close to finding the Marrowick monster they’d tracked since nightfall, but their gear was in sorry shape: Pounder hand-cannons on the fritz, low on ICE freezing solution, dead car batteries on the Shocker gloves and the Cross-Shocker crossbow that they used to electrify the ICE solution and thereby freeze the monsters; it was a wonder they’d managed to freeze anything at all recently.

They were too busy; that was the problem—too much going on. But if they didn’t take time to do some quick repairs now, they’d end up fighting the Marrowick with their bare hands, and that wouldn’t end well for anyone except the Marrowick. And maybe T-Bone, with his huge frame.

Besides, no one was in any immediate danger since the bowling alley was supposedly closed for the night. But if that were true, then who was killing those poor defenseless cats?

“If the door was wired,” Andrew continued, “the Marrowick’s already tripped it by breaking the door, which means the police will be here soon.”

“All the more reason to hurry,” T-Bone chided, attaching a few small wires to the modified car battery that powered his electrified Shocker gloves. “I’m beginning to think you like it in there, Andrew.”

Sky applied some crazy-strong adhesive to the soda fountain hose before duct-taping it on his Pounder hand-cannon. Then, acting in as nonchalant a manner as he possibly could, he scooted closer to Crystal and Hands, trying to stay out of the argument he knew was coming.

“Next time, you do the Dumpster diving,” Andrew retorted as he climbed out of the Dumpster and began sifting through the trash for spare parts. “Maybe you could search with your hands and your mouth. That would speed things up and put your mouth to good use for once.”

T-Bone chucked a soda pop can at Andrew, hitting him on the head. Andrew jumped to his feet and charged T-Bone, who, at fifteen, was two years older and more than twice his size. But before he could get there, Crystal leaped between them.

“Would you two cool it!” she exclaimed. “You’re ruining Sky’s birthday!”

Sky chuckled at the absurdity of the statement—as if his birthday wasn’t already a disaster. A fistfight with Crenshaw. Mystery fish for lunch. Detention with Malvidia. A sub for gym class. And now they’d tracked the Marrowick for nearly an hour, and they still didn’t know why it had wandered into Exile, let alone the bowling alley. He was surprised anyone remembered his birthday. Even his parents hadn’t said a word when he’d left for school that morning.

Still, as bad as it was, it beat his last birthday, when Uncle Phineas had disappeared, only to die two days later. Nothing could top that. For a time, Sky and the others had believed Phineas was still alive, that he hadn’t died in the Jack, and that he’d left them clues in his will. But after a year . . . well, Sky still hoped, but if Phineas was alive, then where was he?

“You two should be ashamed,” Hands rebuked, wagging his finger at T-Bone and Andrew. “Things were going splendidly until you started fighting. Now you’ve spoiled our picnic.”

Sky laughed.

Crystal glared at them until their smiles faded. Then she turned her glare back on Andrew and T-Bone. Andrew huffed, walked over to his equipment, and put it on while T-Bone tugged on his Core shoulder pads.

“Let’s just finish this so Hands and I can catch the end of football practice,” T-Bone grumbled. “We’ve still got a long night ahead, and tomorrow’s the homecoming game against Quindlemore.”

“Coach Blackburn is making you practice the night before the homecoming game?” Sky asked, surprised.

“Are you kidding?” Hands replied. “Coach Blackburn is making us practice the day of homecoming—right after school. He’d pull the entire team out of school and make us practice morning, noon, and night if he thought he could get away with it. The man is insane.”

Sky finished duct-taping and suited up: Core shoulder pads to control his gear, Pounder hand-cannon for freezing monsters, jetpacklike Jumpers, fog-spewing Foggers, three-second force-field–like Shimmer. Lastly, he pulled on a black cloak to hide it all. Their gear was made out of garbage; it needed to be hidden.

“Look, I know everyone’s tired,” Crystal stated, to groans and nods, “but we can’t start turning on each other. We’ve got enough enemies as it is—monsters, Malvidia and her Exile hunters, Solomon Rose, and who knows what else; we’ve got to stick together. A band of one, remember? That’s what Phineas wanted.”

Everyone nodded. Last year Phineas’s weird poem, Enof Od Naba Ban Do Fone (“A Band of One” when read from the middle out), had helped them find the three keys to the Arkhon’s prison: two funky monocles and a pocket watch. The three keys had connected together on a giant pendulum in Pimiscule Manor, allowing them to relock the prison before the Arkhon (or, really, the Hunter of Legend Solomon Rose, as they’d discovered) could escape and destroy the world. They’d lost Phineas’s monocle shortly after—how and where, they had no idea—but Sky still had the other monocle and the watch, and he kept them close at all times. They used to joke that Phineas had stolen his monocle back because he was blind without it, or that maybe he was giving them another clue that he was still alive. They didn’t joke about that anymore. Now Sky just hoped Phineas’s lost monocle hadn’t fallen into the wrong hands.

He glanced at his fellow monster hunters: Crystal, Andrew, Hands, and T-Bone. Phineas had wanted them to hunt together, to be unified, to be a band of one, but they were all broken in one way or another. Crystal’s mom was still lost, Andrew’s parents were still dead, Hands’s parents were still jerks, and T-Bone’s family was still big (and one kid bigger again since they’d found his little brother last year).

And then there was Sky, the most broken of all.

He glanced at the two separate and distinct marks on his palm: the warm white Hunter’s Mark and the cold black Eye of Legend surrounding it (or “trix” as he used to call the Eye before learning its real name). Two marks, two opposing forces—light and dark, hot and cold, unify and destroy—same boy. Was he conflicted? Yes. Was he confused? Yes. Did he hate asking himself rhetorical questions? Yes. Yes, he did.

He could talk to monsters, thanks to the Hunter’s Mark. Other than that, and a few random experiences with the Eye last year, he was clueless as to their purpose and use.

If the two puzzling marks were the extent of his childhood trauma, Sky felt he’d be okay. Weird, but okay. The real problem was how he got both marks. He started with just one—which one, he didn’t know. The other he’d acquired as a baby when a person he called “Shadow Man” turned him and another boy, Errand, into Changelings. Monsters. They’d become physically identical in every way at the moment of Change, and deeply connected thereafter.

And then, within hours of Sky discovering that Errand was real, Solomon Rose had thrown Errand over an enormous wall.

Like Phineas, Errand was simply gone, and Sky felt like part of himself was missing. Was he a monster? Was he a hunter? Had he stolen Errand’s life?

Only the Shadow Man knew.

For the last year Sky, Crystal, Andrew, Hands, and T-Bone had run themselves ragged hunting down monsters like the Marrowick that had escaped from Solomon’s prison. Now they were all tired and broken, even if they usually managed to put a good face on it.

A band of one. That’s what Phineas wanted them to be. But how could you possibly take five broken things and make something that wasn’t also broken?

“Are you sure they’re closing early tonight?” Sky asked.

“Positive,” said Hands, whose mother owned the bowling alley. “Madge should’ve left over an hour ago. Marrowicks aren’t violent, are they?”

“They’re walking wax plants,” T-Bone replied. “How violent can they be?”

“Gee, I don’t know,” Andrew responded sarcastically, “I seem to remember a certain Jack and Dovetail plant kicking our trash last summer.”

“And Solomon Rose smacked us around with his Echo branches,” Hands added. “I still have slivers in places I’d rather not mention.”

T-Bone grunted in grudging agreement. Sky understood; it was hard to admit you’d been beaten up by a plant.

They jammed the spare garbage into their duffels and T-Bone dropped everything into a nearby sewer grate while everyone else waited by the Dumpster.

“So what’s a Marrowick doing in a bowling alley in Exile? Why leave the safety of the north cemetery now after a year of hiding?” Crystal asked, staring thoughtfully at the bowling alley’s broken door.

Sky raised his hood as he stepped from hiding. The others fell in line behind him. Since he was the only one who could talk to monsters, the others had selected him to lead the charge—every charge, even though talking almost never worked and monsters invariably mauled him as a result.

T-Bone and Hands thought it was hilarious.

“No idea why it’s here,” Sky replied. “Let’s find out.”

Shockers crackled. Steam hissed. Metal creaked against metal.

Cats died.

Cringing against the agonizing disco beats, Sky reached for the door handle . . . at which point the door promptly exploded off its remaining hinges and hammered him into the ground.

Meet the Author

E.J. Patten was born Arizona and grew up with a love of stories, thanks to his parents’ ownership of a video store. He received a BA in Media Arts and an MBA from Brigham Young University, and he lives with his wife and three children on a small hill overlooking a large lake in a Utah town.

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The Legend Thief 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Cmarsh456em More than 1 year ago
Excellent follow up to the first book. Kept me reading and wanting to know more and more about the interesting life of Sky and the town Exile. It does just that by diving deeper into the past of the Hunters of Legend. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the first book, and i love it. I dont think that this would be bad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please respond