The roadside motel was decrepit, but it provided a livelihood for Cyrus and Antigone Smith and their older brother Daniel. For two years, things were quiet, even boring, but then the strange old man with the bone tattoos arrived and everything changed. Within a single day, he was dead; the motel, burned; and Daniel, missing; and two young siblings were preparing for a journey to rescue their brother and help save the world. A new magical fantasy series by the author of Leepike Ridge and 100 Cupboards.
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For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.
Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Wilson (the 100 Cupboards books) launches the Ashtown Burials series with this wildly imaginative and action-packed thrill ride. Their father dead and their mother in a coma, Cyrus and Antigone Smith are being raised by their older brother, Dan, while running (and living in) a dilapidated motel. Then the enigmatic Billy Skelton shows up: the elderly man barely has time to induct Cyrus and Antigone into the mysterious Order of Brendan and designate them as his heirs before he's killed. After Dan is kidnapped and the motel is destroyed, the siblings have nowhere to go but Ashtown, the clandestine home of the ancient order. There, they learn about their family's shadowy history and must prove their worth to the society of adventurers and explorers whose past members have included the likes of Amelia Earhart. Additionally, Cyrus and Antigone battle traitors and subterranean creatures while struggling to keep an ancient artifact away from an immortal madman. Wilson balances these hyperbolic plot elements with measured prose and smart dialogue, while combining pulp sensibilities, cinematic pacing, and fully developed characters readers will gladly follow down the rabbit hole. Ages 8-12.
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Gr 5–8—The Order of Brendan is an underground collective of sages, historians, and explorers who've been guarding the world's secrets for millennia. On an unseasonably warm summer evening, a mysterious tattooed man arrives at the rundown motel that Cyrus and Antigone Smith and their older brother Dan call home. Before perishing in a bizarre shoot-out, he gifts Cyrus with a set of keys and hints at his father's involvement in the Order. Morning finds the motel destroyed, Dan kidnapped, and Cyrus and Antigone are plunged headlong into an exciting and dangerous world and pursued by a deadly advisory who will do anything to possess their strange inheritance. Their only hope is to claim birthright admission into an organization they know nothing of-and that may not entirely welcome their presence. They soon discover that the fate of the Order-and of the entire world-is in their hands. This volume marks the birth of an extraordinary new series. Populated with well-crafted characters, peppered with mythological references, and brought to vivid life through Wilson's masterful storytelling, this book is sure to appeal to the adventurous spirit in all who delve into its pages.—Alissa J. LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, MI
A wild fantasy romp through a creatively imagined alternative world takes a classic quest format.
Cyrus and Antigone, siblings ages 12 and 13 1/2, respectively, are thrown into adventure when they must leavethe ancient motel in Wisconsin that has been their home in ashes and are driven by a lawyer with very strange speech patterns in a limo to Ashtown, where an alternate world awaits.Might their parents, thought dead, actually be alive? By the use of the third person, the author keeps events rolling and the pace swift, with barely a moment to breathe for the characters. While certain of their foes are immortal, others are just plain old incredible creatures, such as whip spiders and feathered vipers,but all require the courage of the trusty duo, who manages to befriend the right sorts just in time to be saved.Naturally, world dominion is at stake, and the evil Dr. Phoenix at the heart of the plot. The somewhat bombastic prose matches the derring-do required of the heroes, who have a certain winsome charm, and the nonstop action doesn't allow for any reflection on the absurdity of the premise.For readers who've reread all of Harry Potter multiple times, this will be just what the doctor ordered.
Blissfully free of any deeper message, the adventures will continue in future volumes.(Fantasy. 10-15)