The Emerald Atlas
417 pg ARC (AV)
This is a good middle grade swashbuckling fantasy. Three children are separated from their parents at a very young age, 4, 2, and 1, and end up living in orphanage after orphanage. They've convinced themselves that they are NOT orphans and, even though it's been ten years, their parents are coming back. They reach their last hurrah and are sent off to live with Dr. Pym in Cambridge Falls. Only thing, no one has heard of him or the town.
That's just the beginning of the strangeness. Kate, the eldest, had seen the house they arrive at in a vision. But the only two people in the castle are Ms. Sallow, the mean but funny cook, and Abraham, the all around handyman. Kate, Michael and Emma decide to explore and catalogue the place so they don't get lost and find a secret room in the dungeon. In the dungeon is a big, blank book. And that's how the adventure begins.
There's magic, time travel, a deranged countess, and crazy, grandfatherly wizard, dwarves, and a herd of captured children. Emerald Atlas is fast-paced and there were even parts that made me tear up! While Kate is the strong, family leader, and Michael is the bookish, family historian, Emma is the brave, smart-aleck family defender. She is quick to fight for what she believes is right but also never lets a moment pass to gibe at Michael. I loved her feisty wit.
The Emerald Atlas is the first book in what should be, at least, a trilogy as there are three Books of Beginning. I'm hoping that each sibling gets to star in one! Looking forward to the next book in the series and I highly recommend you get your hands on this one!
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The rest of my time was spent cheerleading on twitter, snacking, and walking up and down the stairs at home. Oh, and writing this post! Now back to reading!