Flight of the King (Animas 2)
I thoroughly enjoyed the first in this middle school series and was eager for the second installment. Set in the prestigious Fairmount Academy (Do we ever really get tired of this trope? It is the easiest way to remove young people from a parental situation and provide plenty of other youngsters in a microcosm), Bailey Walker and his friends have returned from the winter break.
Of course, all is not well, and the academy awaits a visit from Viviana Melore, whose evil intentions Bailey and his friends are only to aware of. Who is the current spy that Viviana has implanted in the academy? What is up with the Seer's Glass? Bailey and Hal are on one quest; Gwen and Phi on another. A battle approaches that could decide the fate of the country and change the human/animal kinship forever.
Plenty of action in Flight of the King, but in order to have the appropriate background and familiarity with the characters, it is important to have read Legacy of the Claw (Animas 1). I have to admit that I didn't enjoy Flight as much as Legacy, but then it has been a year since I read the first book, so it was over 100 books ago...and, uh, I am a little more mature (OK, read ancient, if you must) than the target audience.
This series should appeal to young people, especially those who feel strong bonds with animals. It isn't Harry Potter, but it is entertaining and has embedded themes of friendship, animal kinship, loyalty, unbridled ambition, and courage.
Read in July. Blog post scheduled for
Middle School Fantasy. Oct. 13, 2015. Print version: 304 pages.