In the Dorset, England, countryside on a family vacation, a video game fanatic reluctantly embarks on a quest to battle an ancient evil, aided by the daughter of a Wiccan and a man once apprenticed to Merlin.
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Steve Alton lives in Sussex and works on the Millennium Seed Bank project. As well as writing in his spare time, he is a botanical illustrator and photographer. He also grows carnivorous plants. This is his first novel.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8-A combination of fantasy and adventure that incorporates Celtic mythology and Wiccan beliefs. Sam is not happy that his parents have dragged him into the remote English countryside for vacation. He would much rather stay home and play video games than visit stuffy museums and ancient ruins. Things become more exciting after he meets Charly, a local girl with a Wiccan mother. While exploring the countryside, the teens mistakenly open an ancient grave, releasing Amergin, an apprentice of Merlin. He informs them that the extraordinarily large, green-eyed cats that are pursuing them are shape shifters and servants of the Malifex, an evil entity that seeks to shift the balance of good and evil toward darkness. Unsure at first why the young people were able to summon him, Amergin realizes that Sam is the hero he seeks. A quest for three magical objects leads to a final battle between the two forces. This is a familiar story with an environmental message-the Malifex uses human greed to deplete the Earth's natural resources and achieve his sinister goal. The story is plot driven, and has plenty of action. The open ending indicates that a sequel will likely follow.
Michele Capozzella, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Carolrhoda Books, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110822509598