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Before the siblings can comprehend what has happened, the Serpent's Ring is wrenched from Evan's hand by an enormous flying fish and flown to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea. Evan and Claire, accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, must retrieve the Serpent's Ring before Aegir uses its immense powers to flood all the lands on Earth.
For Middle Grade readers and higher
Posted November 13, 2013
Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite
In The Serpent's Ring, H.B. Bolton introduces us to the Relics of Mysticus series, a mythical and fantastic adventure for young adults. Readers meet Evan and Clare Jones, your typical American kids. Like many kids, they get dragged around by their parents to do boring things such as look at museums and generally have a bad time. But today is different. An odd creature entices the two into a closed exhibit during their parents' latest museum excursion, where they discover the Serpent's Ring. This ring is a magical relic and Clare and Evan have accidentally woken it from its centuries-long slumber. It opens a portal to Sagaas, the home of ancient gods, both friendly and evil. Now they have to try to stop Aegir, the sea god, from using the ring to destroy the earth with a massive flood!
This book definitely brought to mind Percy Jackson and other Rick Riordan favorites. I have to say that the plot was cool and those who appreciated the Percy Jackson series will probably love this one just as much. In my opinion, I could have used a bit more history and mythology than what I got. I happen to know a lot about the Norse gods, and while this book did an okay job familiarizing readers with Norse mythology, there was a lot of good plot building information that was left out. While this book is described as YA fiction, I believe it is much closer to Middle Grade fiction for the 10-13 age group.
Posted June 6, 2013
We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for our honest review of it. This is from the review on Kids Corner For Super Reading and is from a kid's perspective
I really really enjoyed The Serpent's Ring, book 1 in the Relics of Mysticus series. It reminded me a lot of the Percy Jackson series, especially with the mythology that is mixed in with the story.
I also liked that the first book is based on characters from Norse mythology, instead of Greek or Roman. It seems like the Greek gods are more popular and used in a lot of books and I really liked learning about the Norse beliefs here instead.
The characters, Claire and Evan, are brother and sister. I don't have a sister but I do have three other brothers and we argue a lot (or at least Mom says we do); Claire and Evan remind me of the relationship I have with my brothers. They argue and pick on each other but when the other is in trouble, they are right there checking to make sure everything is okay.
Evan is super funny and I laughed a lot at some of his jokes throughout the story.
Besides these two, I also liked Dunkle, especially when he gets scared or nervous. Stinky! When I think of it, I believe Conner and Dunkle have a lot in common.
All of these characters go on a lot of adventures like visiting an island with giants, going to a place very similar to Atlantis, and trying to save the world.
I loved the creativity the author shows with the different names of the food in Sagaas , as well as the powers Claire and Evan receive while on the journey.
There is a little romance but nothing too bad, thank goodness.
I think The Serpent's Ring is a great book for anyone 9 years and up.
I give it five stars! *****
The only thing that would make this book better is if it had its own movie to go with it!!
Posted May 27, 2013
A review copy was provided for an honest review. The Serpent's Ring is an adventurous middle-grade novel with mythology woven into every turn. It's well told with imaginative and plentiful details that really help you visualize all the incredible places Evan and Claire venture to. The journey has a lot of little surprises along the way, and a bunch of fascinating characters to learn about. My favorite was Lazonia, a mermaid who helps Evan overcome his struggles and sees the hero in him before he does. The start of the story was the slowest part which builds up momentum to bigger and more dangerous things; snowballing into action scene after action scene from there on out. There are a lot of magical creatures the siblings encounter which includes dragons, imps, mermaids, giants, gods, and goddesses. I found each to be more interesting than the next, and I think anyone who read this will agree. Evan transforms from a boy seeking an adventure, to a boy scared, and finally to a boy who accepts his destiny and embraces it. Claire, Evan's older sister, is fun, humorous, and smart. I liked all those things about her but during some point in the novel she turns into a huge girly girl and fawns all over a guy she has just met—Sigurd. This wasn't a huge annoyance but at times you felt like rolling your eyes at her behavior. I very much enjoyed the entwined myths I thought they were creatively rendered. The Serpent's Ring is an exciting mythological ride that teens will just love.
When siblings Evan and Claire Jones visit the museum for "Family Fun Day" as insisted on by their parents they stumble across an enchanting artifact that leads them to a whole new world. This new and strange place is actually a portal called Sagaas that links all realms of the gods together allowing transport to each world. Evan accidentally lets the magical artifact bracelet called the Serpent's Ring fall into dangerous hands leaving him and his sister no choice but to journey through worlds to recover it. It's at the beginning of their quest that they meet an unexpected ally who insists they'll need all the help they can get to set things right again. Saving the world from destruction lies in the hands of two teenagers and their band of misfit creatures.
Now onto the negative, some sentences didn't flow right. At times it was hard to decipher who the speaker was and their was some plot holes. Aside from some weird moments that didn't add up, I had a great time reading this book. It took my mind to fun places, the story was simple enough to follow, and it was for the most part enjoyable. I think 9-year-olds+ will like reading The Serpent's Ring, there's a little bit of everything for everyone. Every chapter is marked with cute and adorable illustrations that bring the scenes to life in the simple yet finely detailed drawings. The cover is beautiful but the typography doesn't suit it. The Serpent's Ring generates interest in mythology while telling a story about brave kids who take responsibility for their actions and face their problems head-on. Their is a couple of important lessons that can be taken away from reading this and it'll defeat your boredom. The Serpent's Ring is a quick, spellbinding read that'll win you over.
Posted November 20, 2012
The Serpent's Ring is well written for middle-grade readers. The writing is simple with few embellishments, and the world of Asgard is beautifully wrought. Exploring the world with Evan and Claire was by far the most fun. I enjoyed meeting all the different and unique people living there. Personally, I would have liked to see more detailed exploration of the plot, maybe some more plot twists. For the reading level of the intended audience, however, it's understandable.
While, I would have also liked to see Evan and Claire figure out more things by themselves, in a world where the gods and goddesses play prevalent roles, I can see how they would want to meddle with the children's quest to retrieve the Serpent's Ring. It may even be more realistic, as two children would need divine intervention in order to stand a chance of outwitting a god. There are also some conversations that info dump rather than let readers figure things out along with the characters.
The story is well-paced and filled with a cast of charming characters. Young readers will be fascinated by the children's adventure and look up to Evan as a young hero who doesn't back down in his quest to right a wrong and save his world. I recommend this for upper elementary and lower middle-grade readers who enjoy fantasy reads.
Posted November 7, 2012
Wow! What a great book! It suits all of my needs. It's interesting, funny and magical. My favorite character is Evan because he is funny and has an attitude. He reminds me a bit of Percy Jackson because he is witty and always has a smart comment up his sleeve. My favorite part was when Evan was eating the Poppin-Droppins. It reminds me of my brother, who eats by shoveling food into his mouth like a bulldozer. I like how there are cute little recipies they put in the back of the book that told you how to actually make food from the story. I thought it was a nice touch. I love to cook so it was really sweet to put those recipies in the book.
My least favorite part of the book was when Dunkle and Barfel ran away in fear. It proved just how cowardly they were. And poor Evan had to face a sea god all by himself! I was mad at Sigurd for hitting on Claire. Achy should he like her? It's not fair to Claire! He's immortal and he probably dated a lot of girls in his life! He is my least favorite protagonist because of this fact.I also dislike Agier because of his temper. Sometimes I wanna be like " SHUT UP!!!!!!!".
Overall, the book was really good. It was slightly boring in the beginning, but the end was satisfing. It's a good book for middle school readers. I can't wait for the next book!!
Posted October 5, 2012
Overall: I know that it might seem cruel to rate this mediocre when I liked the story so much. The Serpent’s Ring hit a few pet peeves and if you aren’t bothered by these things, then this could be a 5 star book for you. I let my 9 year old *nephew* read the first few chapters and he adored the characters and the action. Now that I’m done reading, he can’t wait to finish.
Firstly, the beginning is slow and it feels like every other fantasy novel. There’s a couple of kids who get an epic quest, some magical powers, and have to finish it before the world ends. Another things is that there isn’t much “he said, she said” in this book. There are quite a few “exclaimed, grunted, yelled, shouted, declared” and so forth. Besides that, the book is very well written.
Characters: What I really appreciated about this book was the fact that Evan and Claire had personality and attitude. A lot of main characters in this age group are timid and follow adults without question, but not these two. Evan is sarcastic and definitely thinks that he knows what is best for himself – just like a fourteen year old teenager does. He does hold his tongue on a few occasions in this book, but only when an outburst might be lethal. He’s blunt but not stupid. It’s hard to say which sibling acts more mature. Claire is better at keeping a calm head in stressful situations but she can be such a GIRL! at times. I like how the two didn’t always get along, yet they knew the other sibling would always be there when needed.
Plot: Though horribly predictable at first, I liked the twist and pacing after Evan enters the underwater world. The first few chapters are bogged down with explanations about this magical world and Dr. Irving’s disappearance and connection to the serpent’s ring. Once the world was established, then this book shined. I just wish that the beginning was less dialogue and introduction. The later chapters managed to create a believable and visual world underwater effortlessly.
Ending: I kind of expected The Serpent’s Ring to end on a cliffhanger and it didn’t. The plot was wrapped up nicely and there’s little teasers for what to expect in book two. I was kind of surprised how long the children remained in the world after the plot wrapped up. Typically in this genre, the honeymoon is over quickly and the kids are shipped back home in the next paragraph. Not here. Definitely a different sort of ending then I’m used to and I liked that.