The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kate’s mother’s last words to her were “I need you to keep your brother and sister safe…Remember your father and I love you very much. And we will all be together again. I promise.” Then she and Kate’s father were gone. Now ten years and twelve orphanages later, Kate, her sister Emma and her brother Michael are on their way to their last stop - Cambridge Falls, a town no one knows. Upon arriving they notice things at this orphanage are different: 1) they are the only children in the place; 2) there are rooms with no ceilings, rooms without floors and one filled with sixty metal bed frames all in a row just like a real orphanage; and 3) the mountains surrounding it are not visible from across the lake it sits on. When they find an old book full of empty pages and bound in green leather, their adventures begin and maybe, just maybe, their questions about the long ago night when their parents disappeared will be answered.
As I was reading this book, many similarities with other well-known books came to mind. This was most brought home when Michael betrays Kate and Emma to the Countess ala The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. With the introduction of the warrior and the dwarves, I was transported to the world of Tolkien. However, that said, I think Stephens does a wonderful job of blending these worlds together, even if he did a bit of borrowing for his story.
I would recommend this for fantasy fans ages 10 up.
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