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The Rise of the Remarkables Bk2 The Thaumagician’s Revenge by Gareth Ward. Pub. Walker books, 2021.

August 26, 2021 Comments off

The thrilling sequel to Brasswitch and Bot a title reviewed elsewhere on this blog and not the end of this saga.

In the first book Wrench discovers her talents as a Brasswitch which allow her to mentally get inside a machine and close it down. Very important if you are at war with machines. She has embraced magic as well and was taught to hone her skills by a boy Plum who has let the side down and become one of the enemy after an enormous battle called the Minster Schism which Wrench helped win.

Set in the beautiful city of York Wrench, her robot sidekick Bot, friend Octavia and new Brasswitch, Vexanna, belong to a group of counter revolutionaries or Regulators called Thirteen. They are to battle Remarkables who came through a Rupture above York made by the old Gods, accidentally, who thought they were opening a gateway to heaven. Through this Rupture came good and bad Remarkables or creatures with alarming body shapes and powers.

Not all Remarkables are bad but the leader of a rival group fighting the Remarkables, Flemington, hates Thirteen and wants to eliminate all Remarkables. The battles are riveting and bring in all sorts of technology with a Victorian era characteristic, hence the title steam punk.

Wrench has problems though. She still wants to get to the bottom of why her parents were killed and she wants to confront Plum whom she was close to but now realises he has “the innocence of a child pulling legs off a crane fly”. They are now enemies.

After a series of battles in the brick works and the museum Femington has procured a Cabal Inquisition, which is to look at all the action to date and pass judgement on Wrench and Bot. The Thirteen are in danger and the bad Remarkables are still a huge threat. .

On top of all this Wrench appears to be losing her powers and has certainly lost her confidence. What has Vexanna got to do with this and can she recover before it is too late? Read this action packed novel and see what happens.

The Ring of Five Book 1. by Eoin McNamee

October 2, 2010 Leave a comment

The Ring of Five by Eoin McNamee. Pub. Quercus, 2010.

Danny is a strange looking boy with one blue eye one brown eye, a triangular face and  pointed ears and chin. He is bullied at school and ignored by his parents and he doesn’t know it, but he looks like a Cherb, the enemy of the world that he is about to enter.

His parents decide to send him to boarding school but instead he is picked up by a strange taxi driver and crosses over into a world  that is an island between warring factions. A war  in which evil forces led by the Ring of Five, threaten the forces of good.

Danny is sent to Wilson’s school for spies and he finds out that it is a school for which his talents are well suited, he just needs specialised training and experience. At Wilsons he meets friends Dixie, Vandra and Les who have special skills of their own, and is supported by a powerful headmaster, Brunholm, and others.

Danny doesn’t realise that because of his appearance he has a special role to play as a spy who must infiltrate the Ring of Five and stop them and their evil ways. He doesn’t do it all in this book because it is the first part of a trilogy, the next part The Navigator will be out later this year.

Eoin McNamee knows his fantasy and the experieced reader will see parallels with other fantasy series but there is nothing wrong with that. Harry Potter fans will like this book although the evil forces are not as forbidding is in the latter series. Evil does have its victories but you never feel that good is going to lose.

Suitable for fantasy readers from years 5/6 and 7/8 even junior High school. Get out and read it and watch out for the sequels.