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The Lost Kingdom

The Lost Kingdom

5.0 1
by Matthew J. Kirby

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A remarkable adventure by award-winning author Matthew J. Kirby brings a fantastical American West filled with secrets and spies and terrifying creatures to vivid life.

In this extraordinary adventure story, Billy Bartram, his father, and a secret society of philosophers and scientists venture into the American wilderness in search of the lost people of the


A remarkable adventure by award-winning author Matthew J. Kirby brings a fantastical American West filled with secrets and spies and terrifying creatures to vivid life.

In this extraordinary adventure story, Billy Bartram, his father, and a secret society of philosophers and scientists venture into the American wilderness in search of the lost people of the Welsh Prince Madoc, seeking aid in the coming war against the French. Traveling in a flying airship, the members of the expedition find their lives frequently endangered in the untamed American West by terrifying creatures, a party of French soldiers hot on their trail, and the constant threat of traitors and spies. Billy will face hazards greater than he can ever imagine as, together with his father, he gets caught up in the fight for the biggest prize of all: America.

THE LOST KINGDOM is an epic journey filled with marvelous exploits, courage and intrigue, and a bold reimagining of a mythical America. Matthew J. Kirby brings his signature storytelling prowess and superb craft to this astonishing story of fathers and sons, the beginnings of a nation, and wonder-filled adventure.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lisette Baez
Adventure comes to life as Billy Bartram joins his father on the greatest expedition into the vast American wilderness. The elements of mystery, fantasy and historical fiction spin this tale with elegance and intrigue. This adventure not only tests the faith of Billy but takes the reader on a fascinating journey of a young boy's relationship with his father. The suspenseful plot will have readers on edge as Billy and his father, along with a secret society of scientists and philosophers venture west searching for Prince Madoc's kingdom of Welsh. As they seek assistance in the approaching war with the French, this brave group will encounter animals, soldiers, spies and traitors, all determined to keep them from their goal. Billy and his father find themselves fighting for the greatest victory in history...AMERICA. As you see the adventure unfold through Billy's eyes, you will be a true fan of adventure rooting for his success. Reviewer: Lisette Baez
School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—In the growing but still relatively small genre of steampunk alternative history comes this adventure of a group of naturalists, scientists, and explorers heading west just prior to the French and Indian War. Famous figures such as George Washington and Ben Franklin make appearances, but most of the plot hinges on the search for a lost kingdom of the Welsh prince Madoc, a flying ship, threats from a dangerous bear-wolf, and French soldiers who pursue the travelers. The daughter of one of the men of the Philosophical Society that sponsors the search provides a tiny hint of diversity of gender roles, but this is a mostly male world. The main character is Billy Bartram, of an unknown age, but on the cusp of manhood. He is learning from all of the specialists, which provides a device for many of the explanations that are needed. He also is an accomplished artist able to depict the exciting natural world and thus contributes to the expedition in a way that requires him to be an observer. It becomes clear that someone is a traitor to the ideals of the group, adding a suspenseful element. Leaving open the possibility of a sequel, Kirby also provides some helpful notes on what he has changed from actual history. An engaging entry into colonial history and westward expansion.—Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library, CO
Kirkus Reviews
The historical meets the fantastical when key members of the American Philosophical Society, circa 1753, employ an aeroship to search for the lost Kingdom of Madoc, of Welsh legend. Ben Franklin encourages young Billy Bartram to accompany his father, botanist John Bartram, on an expedition to determine if Madoc's kingdom will solve England's territorial problems in the New World. Characters loosely based on real-life Philosophical Society members are sprinkled throughout the story, demonstrating diverse motivations and interests, from electricity to immortality. With a ship designed by Francesco Lana de Terzi, they fly above challenges posed by weather, advancing French troops, Native Americans, herds of incognitum and bear-wolves. Edgar winner Kirby deftly combines historical truths with rich, multilayered creative imaginings including mystery, cultural discord and ongoing father-son conflict. While the one female character aboard ship seems disproportionately at fault and the end feels like a crescendo of hodgepodge elements, readers will enjoy the vigorous blend of colonial struggle with a touch of Jules Verne. An old-fashioned adventure story to curl up with on a rainy afternoon. (author's note) (Steampunk. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
Continuing to explore new ground and ideas, Kirby (Icefall) mixes American myth with characters based on historical figures in an imaginative story set in 1750s North America. Billy Bartram is thrilled when his father allows him to come along on a westward expedition, but he never dreamed the journey would involve a secret philosophical society, a flying vessel crewed by geniuses, and a mythical kingdom founded by an ancient Welsh prince, which could hold allies against the encroaching French. The trip doesn’t go as planned, though, with a suspected traitor aboard, the French in hot pursuit, hostile Native Americans on the ground, and a deadly bear-wolf stalking them. While taking some liberties, Kirby skillfully draws on 18th-century beliefs, legends, and personages to construct a historical fantasy that touches on the scientific disciplines of the era to create wonders both natural and manmade. The only drawback is a necessary adherence to less-than-admirable views toward women and minorities on the part of certain characters, but even this serves to push both the story and Billy forward. Ages 8–12. Agent: Stephen Fraser, Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Praise for ICEFALL
Winner of the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery
Winner of the 2012 PEN Center Literary Award
A 2012 ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection
A New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing Selection
Winner of the Judy Lopez Memorial Award

"[A] taut, compelling mystery and survival story." -BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS

"[A] claustrophobic, thought-provoking coming-of-age adventure that shows a young woman growing into her own, while demonstrating the power of myth and legend." -PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"Elegant and exciting." -BOOKLIST

"A well-crafted story rich with emotion and intrigue. A thoroughly engaging read!" -Brandon Mull, bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Beyonders series

"Clear, lively, exciting, and unstoppable as the torrent of meltwater from a glacier, ICEFALL confirms Matthew Kirby as one of our finest new writers for young adults. Readers of any age may be enthralled by the bitter Nordic winter setting and the story of a girl who needs a lot of courage to discover who she is." -Ursula K. Le Guin, acclaimed author of the Earthsea Cycle

"In this riveting historical fantasy . . . debut novelist Kirby has assembled all the ingredients for a rousing adventure, which he delivers with rich, transporting prose." -PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

"[M]emorable characters, hearty action, and palpable atmospherics." -BOOKLIST

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Matthew J. Kirby is the critically acclaimed author of the middle-grade novels Icefall, which won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery and the PEN Literary Award for Children's Literature; The Clockwork Three, which was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start; The Lost Kingdom; Last Descendants, an Assassin's Creed novel; The Quantum League: Spell Robbers; and Cave of Wonders, the fifth book in the Infinity Ring series. He was born in Utah and grew up in Maryland, California, and Hawaii. Matthew is currently at work on his next novel.

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The Lost Kingdom 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got first. SUCK IT!