Chasing the Prophecy: Beyonders, Book 3

Common Sense Media says

Satisfying finale to long but inventive fantasy series.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The main characters conclude the hero's journey started in the first Beyonders book. There are many examples of such journeys in literature. Readers can look for similarities between the heroes in this book and Odysseus in Homer's The Odyssey, Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, etc. Check out the listing in Wikipedia on "Monomyth" or books by Joseph Campbell to explore further.

Positive messages

Bravery and opposition to evil are still at the heart of the series. As is staying true to your friends. This finale adds other weighty topics like sacrifice for the greater good, not abandoning hope, and dealing with loss.

Positive role models

All those named in the prophecy play their parts heroically, some -- especially Jason, Rachel, Ferrin, Tark, and Nedwin -- while expressing doubts about whether they can overcome their fears to do so. Rachel's lost hope causes her to do something drastic and dangerous, but her later bravery and skill pay off. Jason fears he's the weakest fighter and won't be able to help the cause, but ends up using his smarts over his sword to save the day more than once.

Violence

A number of key, beloved characters die, by sword, monster, fire, or explosion and mostly by choice to save their friends and their world from evil. The worst of it: a monster tears one character in half. Also in the mix: a hanging, the killing of horses, ships set ablaze and exploded, assassination attempts, enemies shot with arrows and decapitated by swords, drugging, and more big explosions killing many. There's also talk about the plague from Book 2, characters tortured in the past -- King Galloran is given someone else's eyes as part of the torture and Rachel is threatened with the same.

Sex

Jason has eyes for Corinne and sometimes talks about how pretty he finds her. He's a bit flustered once when they ride the same horse.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Aram pretends to be falling-down drunk to distract some sailors, plus some drinking in a pub by locals.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that like the rest of the Beyonders series, the publisher is marketing Chasing the Prophecy to ages 8 to 12, but ages 10 through 17 are a better fit for this fantasy trilogy. The author delves deep into his characters' motivations and includes lots of detail about the world he creates -- so it's meant for patient, more seasoned readers, not those new to fantasy books. There's also the level of violence to consider. Many beloved characters developed throughout the series die by sword, monster, fire, magic, or explosion. But the author creates a better balance in his finale; less gore and more time thinking about what the loss means, what sacrifice means, and when it's time to step up and be brave and heroic.

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What's the story?

At the conclusion of Book 2, Seeds of Rebellion, a seer reveals a prophecy claiming to be the only chance in a million to defeat the evil wizard Maldor in Lyrian. Teens Jason and Rachel -- from our world and known as the "beyonders" -- are said to have vital roles to play, but must separate to fulfill them. Jason is sent in search of a key to defeating Maldor left by Darian the Seer, thought long dead with the only clue to his whereabouts on a remote island library guarded by a monster. That leaves Rachel who, with her now-advanced magical training, is charged with following King Galloran, first to reclaim his thrown and then to amass an army to march on Maldor's impenetrable stronghold. Longtime allies and friends accompany Jason and Rachel and are prepared to sacrifice even themselves to end Maldor's rule.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For readers who've already logged just shy of 1,000 pages to get to the Beyonders finale, CHASING THE PROPHECY is your reward. Brandon Mull built his Lyrian world with lots of detail, creative characters, and an inventive spirit and now in Book 3 it's time to save it.

Because even the prophecy is in hand by the end of Book 2, Mull's usual weakness for loads of description and character introspection doesn't slow the story down quite as much. In fact, there are some poignant moments as some characters contemplate dying for their cause and what it means to them. And there are a few intriguing surprises toward the end that will keep readers guessing, and happy they stuck with the series till the end.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the Beyonders series ends. Were you satisfied? Were you surprised some key characters died?

  • Jason and Rachel made different decisions about their futures in Lyrian. What would you do?

  • Compare Brandon Mull's version of the hero's journey with what you find in Star Wars, or in Homer's Odyssey, or Lord of the Rings. What's different? What elements are always the same?

Book details

Author:Brandon Mull
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Aladdin
Publication date:March 12, 2013
Number of pages:506
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Available on:Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle, Nook

This review of Chasing the Prophecy: Beyonders, Book 3 was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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