The Emerald Atlas

Four-year old Kate, one year-old Michael and baby Emma are taken from their beds and left at an orphanage in the care of an alcoholic nun. We leap some years and meet the children when Emma is 11 years-old and a brat, Michael is 12 and most concerned with dwarfs and their ways and 15 year-old Kate is holding onto the promise she made to her mother as she was being taken, she would always look after her siblings, she wouldhold on until the family could be reunited.

It’s a story worthy of being considered in the ranks of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials by Rowling and Pullman, respectively. There is more realist elements than perhaps in Harry Potter, the children and readers are not shielded from the harm, they thrown in and expected to deal with it.

Perhaps fans of the popular series’ may not appreciate the diversion from mystery found in The Emerald Atlas, but it’s a welcome change for anyone looking for something fantastical with a twist.

There are witches and dwarfs, riddle-telling wizards (no, not like Dumbledore) and evil characters who make your skin crawl. The true heroes are the children themselves and although the trilogy has been / is being written with a book for each child (Emerald Atlas is Kate’s book) the other siblings get ample footage and growing room. The book introduces not just the obvious heroes but some who will surprise by the end.

Good reading for anyone aged 12 and above, or younger readers who enjoy devouring books.

5stars

Check out the official website (excerpt, trailet etc) here.
Footnote: The author was one of the writers’ on popular TV show, Gossip Girl, although it isn’t obvious from reading this book.

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