A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Inquisitor's Mark is the second book in the Eighth Day trilogy that supposes that ancestors of evil magicians from King Arthur's time are imprisoned in a special time stream between Wednesday and Thursday and that others, called Transitioners, can exist in both. Families that have been known to assassinate rival families in the past are fighting again. They kidnap after using tranquilizers (breaking one arm in the process) and use mind control to alter memories. In a final battle, a few die, one stabbed by a dragon-like creature and others electrocuted. The main characters, cousins Jax and Dorian, are both heroic and self-sacrificing, willing to go against their own families to do what's right.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Once Riley, Jax's guardian, finds out that Addie, the younger sister of Evangeline, is still alive, they know they have to go after her. Addie and Evangeline are powerful Kin descended from Merlin, whose magic can be used to either preserve the Eighth Day -- Grunsday -- or destroy it and the rest of the world with it. When they hear that Addie is staying in a house with Transitioners (those who can live in all eight days, like Riley and Jax), they head there, only to find out she disappeared only weeks before -- days for Addie. They think her trail has gone cold until Jax gets a distress call from his "Normal" friend Billy: He's been kidnapped and taken to New York City. And the bad guys who have him? Jax's uncle and extended family -- but Jax thought his deceased father didn't have any family. When he gets to New York to rescue his friend, suddenly he understands why his father never wanted Jax to meet his powerful and unscrupulous relatives. Their talent for memory manipulation is just the start.
Is it any good?
It's hard to believe this is already Book 2 in a trilogy; given the plodding way Salerni lays things out, you'd expect the series to go to at least Book 6. There are the multiple warring clans and their special marks and talents, the mythologies -- Arthurian past and Grunsday present -- and, in this book, all the hype about brownie tunnels altering time and how it all works. It seems like the reader is being set up for the long haul.
All those extra details and family affiliations to keep straight get in the way of the storytelling at first. They may have worked better in a meaty appendix or companion volume. Still, when the action ratchets up, readers will feel invested, mainly because all the main good characters -- Jax, Dorian, Riley, Evangeline -- have one impossible situation to get out of after another, plus some crazy powers they get to use -- and, of course, only one Grunsday to get the job done.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the two narrators, Jax and Dorian. How are they alike? How are they different? What do you think Dorian will do now? How will he be treated?
What do you know about the Arthurian legends? What about the Morrigan? Where can you find out more?
How do the characters get by on Grunsday without modern conveniences?
- Author: Dianne K. Salerni
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
- Publication date: January 27, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 352
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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