The Secret Country (Eidolon Chronicles)

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9781416907121: The Secret Country (Eidolon Chronicles)

Ben wants a Mongolian Fighting Fish more than anything. But when he goes to Mr. Dodds's Pet Emporium with his hard-earned savings, he buys a cat instead. He doesn't have a choice, really. The cat insists.

Iggy (as the tabby likes to be called) has been kidnapped from his home, a parallel world known as the Secret Country. And as the two soon discover, Iggy is not the only animal to fall victim to the pet-store owner's devious scheme: Mr. Dodds is stealing the Secret Country's magical creatures and selling them to England's rich and curious. Being away from their homeland causes the creatures with any connection to the Secret Country to be under immediate threat. What's more, it seems Ben's mother is their long-lost queen.

With his mother's life hanging in the balance, it's up to Ben to play his part in an ancient prophecy and prove he's worthy of the title of Prince of Eidolon.

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About the Author:

Jane Johnson is the director of HarperCollins UK's fantasy and science fiction list and for many years was the publisher of J. R. R. Tolkien's work. While she has written adult novels as both Gabriel King and Jude Fischer, the Eidolon Chronicles is her first series for children. Ms. Johnson lives in London and Morocco. Visit Ms. Johnson at her website, www.janejohnson.eu.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-7-When a talking cat convinces Ben to purchase it from Mr. Dodds's Pet Emporium, the boy has no idea what adventures await him. Except for his one green and one brown eye, Ben seems a perfectly normal child with two sisters, a journalist father, and a mysteriously ailing mother. After a unicorn turns up at a cricket match and a wood-sprite appears in his garden, Ben finds himself enmeshed in the fate of Eidolon, the Secret Country. As each chapter unfolds, the mythic significance of seemingly ordinary events and characters deepens. Mr. Dodds, who is kidnapping creatures such as selkies and dragons from Eidolon, turns out to be a supremely evil figure from ancient legend, with Ben's Awful Uncle Aleister as his partner in crime. Wishing to help the displaced, sickened creatures return home, Ben finds the wild road that leads there and eventually goes himself. Looking through his green eye, he sees a once-beautiful magical world now corrupted and dying. He learns that his mother was queen of the Secret Country, and that he, as its prince, must try to save it from Mr. Dodds's usurpation. This readable, accessible fantasy, with its likable and all-too-human young hero, is reminiscent of C. S. Lewis's Narnia stories (HarperCollins). The writing is smooth and clear, and the action flows quickly, enlivened by touches of humor. Black-and-white cartoon sketches head each chapter. The wide-open ending presages a sequel.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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