Oracles of Delphi Keep (Oracles of Delphi Keep Series #1)

Oracles of Delphi Keep (Oracles of Delphi Keep Series #1)

by Victoria Laurie


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Ian Wigby is about to find out that he is a very special boy.

Along the southern coast of England, atop the White Cliffs of Dover, stands a castle. And at that castle’s old keep is an orphanage. Delphi Keep has seen many youngsters come and go through its gates, and Ian Wigby and his sister, Theodosia, are happy to call it home. Life has always been simple at the Keep, and the orphanage safe, until one day, Ian and Theo find a silver treasure box. And within the box, a prophesy. Three thousand years ago a great Greek oracle wrote of a quest. A quest on which the fate of the world depends. A quest that names two children—Ian and Theodosia. Suddenly Delphi Keep is no longer safe. And Ian and Theo, along with a very special group of friends, realize they must unravel the meaning behind the scroll of Dover cavern before darkness falls on the world. And before an unfathomable evil catches up with them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440422587
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 05/11/2010
Series: Oracles of Delphi Keep Series , #1
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 391,510
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Victoria Laurie lives in Austin, Texas. You can visit her on the Web at

Read an Excerpt

A New Orphan at Delphi Keep

Dover, England, September 1930

Ian Wigby sat on his cot, staring at the raging storm just beyond his window. It seemed that Lady Lightning and Master Thunder were having another argument, or so the headmistress Madam Dimbleby liked to say.

“That old married couple,” she would tell the children, “Lady Lightning and Master Thunder, sometimes have arguments, as married couples often do. Lady Lightning likes to keep her husband, Master Thunder, in line, you see, so she zaps him a good sting every now and again. But the master won’t have it, and he roars back at her. Give them a few hours to tire themselves out and they’ll soon settle down and let their daughter Mistress Rain have the sky all to herself again.”

Madam Dimbleby told the story of Lady Lightning and Master Thunder to all the orphans who came to live at Delphi Keep, to help them adjust to the turbulent weather that often visited their little patch of England. And it worked, if the seven sleeping boys behind Ian were any indication.

But Ian wasn’t fearful of the tempest outside. In fact, he’d never been afraid of any storm. Instead, he was fascinated by the brilliant light and the clapping thunder, and he loved storms at night best of all. Yet this squall brought a foreboding to him that he couldn’t quite shake, and for some time he’d been less interested in what was happening in the night sky and more absorbed in watching the ground below.

Deep in his five-year-old bones he knew that his life was about to change. Intently, he watched the road leading to the keep, a thin strip of black that he was just able to make out every time Lady Lightning sent a snap to her husband. There had been nothing on the road to call his attention, and yet he couldn’t take his eyes off it.

The clock at the foot of the stairs chimed. He counted as the old timepiece gonged eleven times.

Ian sighed. His eyelids were growing heavy and the storm was dying down. Perhaps he should give up his vigil and crawl under the covers. But just as he was about to turn and pull back the bedclothes, Lady Lightning sent a terrific zap across the sky and something on the road materialized out of the darkness. Ian squinted and rested his forehead on the windowpane. The form that had caught his attention appeared to be large.

Ian cupped his hands around his eyes, straining to peer into the darkness. There! Something moved! In fact, it was racing along the road toward the keep! As he watched, he began to put features to the form. It looked like a man on a horse, riding hard through the rain. Ian’s mouth fell open. He’d been right! Something exciting was about to happen.

He jumped out of bed and trotted on tiptoe to the other end of the long room, past the double rows of sleeping boys. He paused at the door and placed his ear at the crack. Soon he was rewarded with the banging of a fist on the heavy oak door of the keep.

For a moment the interior of the old fortress remained quiet, but just as he was about to open his door to get Madam Dimbleby, he heard her shuffling down the hallway with her cousin and companion headmistress, Madam Scargill.

“Who could that be at this hour?” he heard Madam Dimbleby ask.

“Whoever it is should be taught some manners!” Madam Scargill complained as more pounding echoed from downstairs.

Ian opened his door a crack and peered into the hallway, catching a glimpse of the back of Madam Scargill’s head as she descended the staircase. He waited a beat, then stepped into the hallway and crept to the railing. There was an old table butted up against the wooden slats with a small hole in the back that would give him both cover and a convenient spy hole. He scooted under the table just in time to see the headmistresses open the door and reveal a stranger.

A bony-looking man, soaked to the skin, stood in the doorway. His hair was long and stuck to his unshaven face. He wore a tattered coat and large black boots, and in the dim light he appeared quite frightful. “Please,” he said in a deep voice. “I come on a mission of mercy!”

The headmistresses had stepped back as they’d opened the door to the man, and Ian could see their doubtful expressions when they turned to each other in silent contemplation. As they hesitated, the man stepped forward and pulled something out from the folds of his coat. Both women gasped when they saw that it was a small child. “I found ’er not four hours ago,” he explained. “She was toddlin’ about in this muck, if you can believe it. I took ’er ’ome for a time to wait the rain out, but I don’t ’ave any food fit for ’er and up until a bit ago she was frettin’ as bad as this storm.”

“Oh, my!” said Madam Dimbleby as she hurried to take the child. After hugging the toddler to her chest and pulling the folds of her shawl about the babe, she asked, “Where on earth did you find her?”

“?’Er mum rents the cottage on the edge of me property,” the man said. “I found this little one wandering about in the field next to the ’ouse, so I went looking for ’er mum but she’s cleared out.”

“Cleared out?” Madam Scargill asked in her usual clipped speech. “What do you mean, ‘cleared out’?”

“All ’er belongings is gone. ’Er clothes, ’er trunk, all ’er personal things. There was this note, though,” he said, and once more he dug around in the folds of his coat, from which he fished a crumpled, damp letter that he held out to the women.

Madam Scargill took the paper, placing her half-glasses onto her nose before she read, “?‘I cannot stay any longer. The child would be in danger if she were found with me. Please get her safely to the orphanage at the keep near Castle Dover.’?”

“Horrible!” Madam Dimbleby exclaimed as she rocked the small child. “To abandon a helpless child and in the middle of a terrible night like this!”

“And how dreadful of her to leave the job of getting the girl to us up to any passing stranger,” sniffed Madam Scargill.

Customer Reviews

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Oracles of Delphi Keep (Oracles of Delphi Keep Series #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do not start reading this series. The publishers have decided not to do the  fourth book and book three leaves you hanging. I started his series with my kids and the youngest is crying that we will not find out what happens.  Do Yourself and your kids a favor and don't start this incomplete series.
CathieArms More than 1 year ago
I've read several of the Victoria Laurie books geared toward adult readers, so I was a bit surprised to see that she had written a book directed at 5th-8th grade readers. I honestly couldn't imagine an author making a successful transition from what she normally writes, to children's' fiction. Oh boy was I wrong!!!! For starters, I read all the reviews on this book I could find and I was *really* aggravated! Several reviewers had compared this book to the Harry Potter series. That irritated me because there's just no way, I thought, that a reader going into this book with the mindset that it could be compared to Rowling's books would come away satisfied. I was prepared to - if not dislike it - at least be terribly disappointed. This book was nothing short of FANTASTIC! Intertwining sorcery, magic and the gift of "sight," Laurie tells a fantastic story of two orphans on the run for their lives after discovering a treasure box in an abandoned cave. As an adult, I was holding my breath and sitting on the edge of my seat within the first 20 pages. It was that good. Is it as good as the Harry Potter books? I think it's a terrible mistake to compare one book loved by so many to another; however, I will say that there are many wonderful similarities and I'm excited to read the rest of the series. I think it would be fantastic to see this book be made into a movie. A note to readers: I bought this book online, but went to my local B&N to purchase the rest of the series. I was DEVASTATED to realize that they didn't have a single one in stock, and not because they were sold out! They simply hadn't chosen to stock this book for reasons of their own. I was able to talk them into stocking one copy of each book to see how it went for sales. You might call your B&N first if you intend to walk into the store to purchase this book.
soraki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ian and Theo are orphans in Dover in the 1930s. Ian wants to be an explorer when he grows up and spends all his free time exploring the tunnels in the nearby cliffs with his best friend/almost-sister, Theo. When they find a new tunnel and a small silver box near their orphanage, it's the start of the adventure of their lives.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: The jacket flap simply intrigued me. The book sounded right up my alley. Comments: Set in the 1930's along the White Cliffs of Dover atop of which stands an old castle and its keep. In that keep is an orphanage run by the earl, who owns the property and the land. It is here that orphans Ian and Theodosia (Theo) have lived most of their lives. Now 13 and 10 respectively they spend a lot of their time secretly exploring the caves within the cliffs (a most forbidden activity ) until one day they discover a silver box that contains an ancient prophecy that will forever change who they thought they were. As they turn to leave the cave they are chased by a hellhound and now that the evil forces are after them they have only one path to follow to save themselves, the children at the orphanage and perhaps the world.What an intricate, deep plot to follow! I admit it took a bit of getting into as their were so many things going on and stories being told that I started to get lost a bit but I went with the flow and soon enough understood the different angles. This book has it all: ancient Greek mythology (though the author takes liberties with real names creating her own ancient-ancient mythology), Druid oracles, Phonecian relics, evil sorcerers and hellhounds. Starting off in England and veering off into Morocco this is an adventure as well as a mythological-steeped tale. Part of the book has a very ancient fantasy lore feel then in another part it went all Indiana Jones. There are quite a lot of different types of action happening here, not to mention the orphanage moments which have that boarding school feel that is so popular. You certainly don't get bored!One thing I particularly liked was the unusual party of questers in this book. Usually one can assume in a book like this we'll have a group of children with some boys and some girls. Ms. Laurie has created a very unique group. Here we have a party of six containing 1 girl and five males, also the group contains three children and three adults. There is a hierarchy of power. The adults expect the children to obey them as they look out for their safety yet the adults know that the children have a special connection to what is going on and know things instinctively that they don't. The children often assert their power of intuition over the adults leading the way but they follow the authority respect (this is the 1930s, remember) and they also know the adults know much more than they do because they are educators. Everyone is friendly and gets along well with each other within these dynamics.The party consists of an old professor of archaeology, two twin brothers who are schoolmasters at the orphanage and very educated, and Colin, a new boy who is undernourished and very skinny. He has a sense of comradery and bravery but sometimes his body just won't let him follow through. Ian and Theo are the two main characters of the group. Ian is a typical boy, all about adventure. He actually wants to be an explorer when he grows up. Finding treasures in the wild and getting rich. Theo, who was given to him to look after as a sister when she arrived, is a unique character as well. I really like the way the author has portrayed her. She is a strong-willed girl and doesn't let anyone walk over her but she is not pushy. Sometimes she is all for whatever adventure is going on but at other times she'll find something too dangerous and will be scared and not want to do it. Sometimes girls are portrayed in books as supergirls who can do anything, I prefer this real life example of how girls are just like anybody else sometimes strong, sometimes scared and being scared doesn't make you weak. Theo always keep face and she saves the day more than once just by being herself, faults and all.A well-written book. Very long, with no pictures it will probably take kids a while to read but it is full of action and plot. This is not one of those 500 page books with 200 pages of filler; this
emithomp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Theo, her adopted brother Ian and their friends must stop Demogorgon before he can detroy the world.For the first book in atreasure hunting adventure series, The Oracles of Delphi keep is not bad. Who doesn't enjoy tales of children crawling through tunnels to find treasure? For a new twist, it looks to Greek mythology and a vision of the Nazi march through Europe rather than magic. It's interesting, but not really that new. However, as a twist on an old favorite, it is not bad. The characters are engaging and the settings exciting. It really picks up in the second half, once the fight really begins. Unfortunately, it does not make the reader really want to read the next book. It has more of a "well, I'll read it if it's there, but I won't seek it out" feeling at the end. While, well written, it did come across a bit like an American throwing in Brishisms rather than actual English people speaking.It is a perfectly servicable adventure, though, and would probably be enjoyed most in a middle school library or a public library's tween section.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it and I hate Random House for not publishing the Fourth Book! Just like Ulysses Moore!(another great series that after book4 stopped being Translated into english.) It is a great book but do not read series if you dislike cliffhangers.;(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was always one of my favorite books
BookLover1122 More than 1 year ago
This is an AWESOME series. However, I don't recommend you start it unless you don't mind to be left hanging. The 4th book will not be published and the third leaves you with quite a bit of a cliffhanger. I was very upset when I found out this series would not be continued.
Cheerie_1 More than 1 year ago
I read the three books of the series, and was waiting for the fourth to come out. And was waiting...and waiting. When I discovered that the publishers decided not to publish the final book I was furious! It's like going to a favorite restaurant and having appetizer and soup, then being told you have to make your own main course! I know I will never buy another series book from Random House until the series is concluded. I feel betrayed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I read many books of similar genre but this book really stood out to me. If you are looking at this review to find out wether you should buy it or not, you should definitly get it. This is a great read for kids and adults of all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good nbook in general, but a bit close to the Harry Potter series in terms of characters and the adventures they go on.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing i love it!!!!!!!!!! If i could i would rate it 100 stars
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leross More than 1 year ago
A must have!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago