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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Second Guard by J.D. Vaughn

The Second Guard 

J. D. Vaughn's fantasy is set in Tequende, a world that resembles early South American geography, but has its own distinctive cultures and history.

Talimendra has always known that she will be a part of the Second Guard, as all second-born children are inducted into the Guard at fifteen.  Tali is a twin, but her personality is more suited to this occupation than that of her sister, so it is fortunate that circumstances have dictated that Tali join the guard.  Tali is eager and proud  of the opportunity to serve in the elite group and has even done some training in advance.

Although the Guard has always been a respected entity in the past, there are some unfortunate rumors that could easily diminish its standing.  Tali and her friends become aware of these rumors, but remain dedicated to the Guard's ideal.  I like Tali's determination and her commitment to succeed in an honorable way.  She makes a great protagonist for the middle school audience.   

I enjoyed this fantasy for the middle school set.

J.D. Vaughn is the pen name of Julia Durango and Tracie Zimmer, two friends who are also writing partners. Julia is a former school librarian from Illinois and a winner of the Golden Kite Award. Tracie, a high school English teacher from Ohio, received critical acclaim and the Schneider Family Book Award. Together they share a love of travel, reading, chicken biscuits, and the teenagers who call them Mom.

Read (and mentioned) in December.  Blog post scheduled for March 29, 2015.


YA/Middle School/Fantasy.  April 14, 2015.  Print length:  432 pages.


  1. I haven't read fantasy in a long while and this sounds intriguing to me. And Tali sounds like a great character too!

    1. This was an entertaining YA fantasy, and I look forward to more from "J.D. Vaughn," the pseudonym of the writing team of a librarian and a high school teacher!

      I just realized that I wanted this to post on March 29-- shortly before publication date--but evidently wasn't paying attention and scheduled it for April 29 instead!

  2. What an interesting setting. You've got me curious about this one, Jenclair. I don't often read books for the middle school set, I admit, but sometimes something catches my eye. It's often fantasy. :-)

    1. I found the characters and plot engaging and liked that it wasn't one of those YA books that make great abs and sexual attraction more important than character or story. This one is about friendship, ethical dilemmas, stereotypical prejudices by class, loyalty, and commitment to the things the characters believe in. But it isn't didactic or preachy, just an adventure story with a little depth!