Triskellion (Triskellion Series #1)

( 9 )


First in a thrilling supernatural trilogy! "Breathless. . . . Suspenseful." — Kirkus Reviews

A sense of foreboding sets in the moment fourteen-year-old twins Rachel and Adam arrive from New York to visit their English grandmother. The station is empty, village streets are deserted, locals are hostile, and even their frail Granny Root is oddly distant. And who is the strange boy, Gabriel, who speaks to them telepathically, and what about the bees that appear to follow a ...

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First in a thrilling supernatural trilogy! "Breathless. . . . Suspenseful." — Kirkus Reviews

A sense of foreboding sets in the moment fourteen-year-old twins Rachel and Adam arrive from New York to visit their English grandmother. The station is empty, village streets are deserted, locals are hostile, and even their frail Granny Root is oddly distant. And who is the strange boy, Gabriel, who speaks to them telepathically, and what about the bees that appear to follow a mysterious force? It all seems tied up with the Triskellion — a symbol etched in chalk on the moors — and an ancient feud that keeps villagers warily apart. With a growing sense of danger, the twins must unearth a secret that has protected the village for centuries, one that reveals a shocking truth about their ancestors — and themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennifer Wood
The first in a forthcoming trilogy of thrillers, this book focuses on twins Rachel and Adam Newman and the extremely unfriendly welcome the pair receive upon their arrival in England, where they travel to visit their grandmother. From the apparent desertion of the town to the hoodlum brothers who attack Adam, it is clear the twins are not wanted, even as the reasons why remain unclear. However, they find themselves strangely and undeniably fascinated with the giant clay intersecting circles which lie just outside the ancient village. Rachel in particular is fascinated with the strange, wild boy she spies walking their outlines one night. Despite Adam's initial resistance, Rachel trusts Gabriel, even as her nights increasingly and frequently are filled with dreams that feature an ancient maiden resembling herself and a strange knight resembling Gabriel. Despite facing increased violence and hostility, the uneasy trio embarks on a mission to find and reunite the three missing pieces of the ancient triskellion emblem which can be seen on the circle and from which the village derives its name. Some parents will likely object to this violence, which includes a band of purportedly Druid-like "Green Men" who first beat the sibling hoodlums for attacking Adam before later trapping a man in a shed, which the Green Men set on fire when the man does not cooperate with them. However, the delightfully dark narrative intersects reverence for a lost past with the romance of the modern-day children, even as it becomes clear Gabriel is more than who he appears to be, and readers of both sexes should enjoy this suspenseful read. Reviewer: Jennifer Wood
VOYA - Sarah Flowers
When their parents' marriage falls apart, fourteen-year-old twins Rachel and Adam are sent from New York to England to live with a grandmother they have met only once. From the moment they arrive in the village of Triskellion, though, something seems a little odd. The villagers, including their grandmother, seem to know something that they are not sharing with the twins. The whole community is somehow bound up in the symbol of the triskellion-three intersecting crescents, bound by a large circle. As they meet more villagers-a Commodore, a beekeeper, a vicar, a strange boy named Gabriel, and some menacing Morris dancers-they become increasingly drawn into the secrets of Triskellion. When a television show called Treasure Hunters arrives in town to excavate under the chalk circle, Rachel and Adam's role in the village's history begins to emerge. Full of mystery and adventure, this fast-paced thriller with a supernatural twist is likely to appeal to fans of the Gatekeepers series by Anthony Horowitz and Rick Yancey's Alfred Kropp books. Reviewer: Sarah Flowers
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
Like me, when you read this story you may have to do a bit of research on the Green Man and how that mythology fits in with Morris dancers, pub names, and those weird faces people sometimes put on trees in their suburban yards. It's the modern day, and NY twins Rachel and Adam visit their grandmother in a little village in England the summer they are 14 years old. Their grandmother's last name is Root—check out that name and how it fits into the Green Man mythology. It turns out, through her, they are the descendents of an ancient line of folks with a secret; the twins have been summoned to the village of Triskellion to take part in a mysterious ritual that will heal an old wrong. Of course, they don't know any of this and must slowly discover what is happening, who the strange boy Gabriel is, and why the archaeological excavation of the village's prehistoric chalk circle is bringing the centuries-long struggle to a final climax. There is murder, betrayal, fear, greed—all too human, as a matter of fact. But the twins persevere; they have special powers, and joined with Gabriel, they are able to bring Triskellion together. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
School Library Journal

Gr 5-9

Fourteen-year-old twins Rachel and Adam, fresh from Manhattan, arrive in a sleepy English village to spend the summer with their grandmother, away from their divorcing parents. On the surface, Triskellion seems like a charming place, but that perception quickly changes as they are thrown into the middle of a complicated power struggle involving local folklore and history, recent family scandals, and archaeological fever. The twins, who can communicate telepathically, begin to share dreams of a maiden, who looks like Rachel, and a knight, who looks like Gabriel, a mysteriously attractive boy who keeps leading them into trouble, but saving them as well. Ultimately, everything hinges on the search for the three blades of the Triskellion, an ancient artifact that involves a local beekeeper/amateur archaeologist; the fanatical son of the village leader and his followers; and the cast and crew of Treasure Hunters, a popular reality show. There's a fair amount of violence, but nothing gratuitous. Mysteries abound, and explanations are sometimes a little murky (what exactly is Gabriel?), but these questions may be resolved in the further installments of the planned trilogy. The plot moves along at a brisk pace, and there's plenty of adventure, dark and creepy atmosphere, and a touch of the paranormal. Recommend this to fans of Neil Gaiman and Neal Shusterman.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Author Mark Billingham and television scriptwriter Peter Cocks collaborate on their debut novel, the first of a planned fantasy trilogy. Fourteen-year-old New York City twins Rachel and Adam are uprooted to spend the summer in the home of a grandmother they barely know. A group of hostile characters inhabits her isolated English village, lending a mood of mystery and threat. Gabriel, a shadowy outcast teen who readily participates in the twins' shared extrasensory mental dialogue, befriends them but has a plan of his own, aided, inexplicably, by hordes of bees. Digging beneath an ancient chalk circle in the village, a television show archaeology crew recovers part of a three bladed talisman, the Triskellion; a group of evil Morris dancers makes every effort to steal it for their own purposes, as the twins quickly realize that even their grandmother may be plotting against them to protect some long-hidden secret. Told in brief but exciting episodes, the breathless pace helps to make up for the rather flat personalities that people this often suspenseful but somewhat predictable novel. (Fiction. 11 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763639334
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Series: Triskellion Series, #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 741,910
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Will Peterson is a shared pseudonym for Mark Billingham, award-winning author of the best-selling Tom Thorne crime novels, and Peter Cocks, a popular children’s television writer and performer. Mark Billingham lives in London, and Peter Cocks lives in Kent, England.
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Read an Excerpt

Prologue: New York

The creature drove its body again and again into the glass, unable to understand why the air had suddenly become impossible to move through, desperately searching for some way out. The girl turned away from it and watched her mother opening and closing cupboards on the other side of the breakfast bar. She stared as her mother furiously polished the appliances, buffing up the surfaces of the kettle, the juicer, the coffee-maker that her father had bought the Christmas before.

Rachel opened her mouth to speak, but with a small wave of her hand, her mother silenced her. A gesture that said, "No, I'm busy and I can't think. No, I can't discuss it right now. No, please, I need to finish telling you these things before the tears come again."

Then, still talking, she was moving across the kitchen to start work on the stainless steel of the worktop, rubbing and rubbing at the metal until she could look down into it and see her own drawn and determined expression. As she worked, she continued to go through arrangements for the rest of the summer. Rachel stared across the table and tried to get the attention of the boy sitting opposite her. He glanced up, looked over at her with eyes that were the same as her own, then let his head drop again. Grunted to himself.

Adam. Forty-three minutes younger than she was. But he was a boy, right? So it felt like the age difference could have been a whole lot more.
Rachel hissed at her brother. His head stayed down. He shook it slowly and continued to push the cereal around in his bowl.

The two of them jumped simultaneously at the explosion of a door closing hard upstairs. The boy looked up at his sister, suddenly pale and afraid, and they turned together to watch their mother, her gaze fixed on the doorway, her arms stiff against the worktop. She stood frozen mid-sentence and mid-movement, wincing at the footsteps that thundered down the stairs like a series of rumbling aftershocks. Tensing for the noise that they all knew was coming.

The front door slammed shut, its echo died slowly, and there were just the three of them.

Rachel felt as if the seconds were thickening, as if time were slowing down, though it was probably no more than a few moments before she and Adam pushed their chairs away from the table.

The scrape of the metal legs against the floor was terrible, like a hundred pieces of chalk being dragged down a blackboard.

Rachel's mother rubbed at her eyes and did her best to smile as her children moved toward her. She opened her arms, and Adam walked into the embrace. He pressed his head against her chest, sobbing silently as she stroked his hair.

Hearing the buzz and the tap, Rachel glanced across the room again, oddly disturbed by the small drama at the window.

The bee was still flying headlong into the glass, though a little slower now, with much less enthusiasm as it tired.

Zzzzz . . . dnk. Zzzzz . . . dnk. Zzzzz . . .

She walked quickly across to the window just as the insect spun and dropped, exhausted, onto the sill.

The voice in her head was not her own. It was a male voice - a boy's voice, and it spoke in a strange accent she didn't recognize.

Open the window, the voice said. Rachel did as she was told and watched as the bee crawled slowly up onto the edge of the window, then waited for a few seconds before taking flight.

When the bee rose up fast and flew back toward her face, she remained completely still and unafraid of being stung, as though the voice in her head had calmed her. As the bee circled twice around her head, she followed its movements, seeing the gold-and-black fur on its back revealed in astonishing detail, clapping her hands across her ears at the deafening beat of its wings, and watching as it finally veered away out the window. Rachel Newman stared, almost hypnotized, as the bee zigzagged its way into the blue, dancing on the thermals - a whirling speck against the New York skyline.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The review on Triskellion

    I am a 6th grade student in Glendale,AZ. Triskellion was a really good book, so I gave a 4 out of 5 rating. When I first started to read this book,I didn't think it was going to be really good. And when it started off slow I wasn't to happy. But then by like the 40th page it started rolling. These two kids named Rachel and Adam have to go to this weird English village cause their parents got divorced. So Rachel and Adam have to go to Triskellion which is the village. So they have to take a train all the way from New York City all the way to Triskellion, where their granmma named Celia Root lives. From the start they get there all the way up to the time they leave, all kinds of weierd stuff starts to happen to them. When they meet a strange boy named Gabriel, it gets even weirder. And I mean really weird. Such as inscriptions on a coffin in a church or a boy with cat like reflexs. Haha. And what they find out about this weird little village will leteraly knock you off your feet. All though it shouldn,t cause you are usually sitting when you read, but I think you know what I mean.

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  • Posted December 3, 2009

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    Reviewed by Cat for

    In the midst of their parents' ugly divorce, fourteen-year-old twins Adam and Rachel Newman are sent to their mother's home village in Great Britain to stay with their grandmother - but Triskellion proves to be no safe harbor amidst the storm.

    From the moment of their arrival, the twins are treated with suspicion and hostility, with every building in town marked by a strange "symbol of three intersecting crescents forming a continuous pointed clover leaf, bound by a large circle." It is from this symbol (a triskellion) that the village takes its name.

    Essentially cut off from civilization with no telephone, Internet, and hardly any television, the boys' suspicions deepen further after the pair meets Gabriel - a boy their age who seems to vanish at will. When a communiqué of the local beekeeper thrusts the isolated hamlet into the spotlight, Adam and Rachel discover there's more than a town's secret at stake as their entire world is rocked to its foundation.

    Will Peterson makes his young adult debut with a page-turning, nail-biting, two-for-one special. Part paranormal, part mystery, TRISKELLION is unlike any other book in its genre. Peterson explores legends of the past, the psychic connection between twins, archaeology, and prophecy in one fell swoop.

    While I still don't understand the significance of the bees, or how they're tied to certain characters' psychic abilities, and I was somewhat disappointed to find more questions than answers at the end, TRISKELLION kept me up for three nights straight, desperate to find out what happened. Good thing there's a sequel.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

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    Cover to cover confusion

    Overall it wasn't too bad but there was a lot of switching of points of view so that kind of got confusing and that aside, getting through the first hundred and fifty pages seemed to be a bit of a chore. The idea seemed pretty cool but wasn't delivered too well, and though the sequel snippet included at the end of the book seemed promising, I'm not too sure i want to be dragged through another story like this one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    good - sorta recomend - not ontop of my list of books to read though

    this book was pretty good at some parts it was a bit hard to get throught but in the end its good and i cant wait for the second one to come out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2009

    An OK book

    This book was filled with mysteries and I really enjoyed reading it but I found the ending confusing and dissapointing. That is why I give it 2 stars.

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