I ordered this one without reading it on the strength that the two main characters were based on C.S.Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I was not disappointed. This is fun for regular fantasy fans (good plot, lots of action), but an absolute delight for hard core fans who will get the literary references dropped on almost every page. James Owen really did his research, and got his Latin correct as well!
During the first World War, three men are brought together by the murder of a scholar. John, reeling from his experiences at the front, was tutored by him; Jack, another Oxford scholar, was delivering papers to him; and Charles, an editor, was visiting on business as well. The three repair to a club after being interviewed by the police, where they find out that they are in charge of the Geographica Imaginarium, and are promptly attacked by sword wielding monsters!
Saved by a man named Bert and wisked away on a magic ship, they are quickly plunged into a world of enchantment and danger. They must all work together to keep the Geographica safe so that they can defeat the Winter King and restore the rightful king (whom they find in the guise of a servant boy) to the Silver Throne. John wishes that he had worked harder on his studies, since he is in charge of translating the maps. Despite obstacles, the group manages to perservere and triumph-- for now. The Search for the Red Dragon and The Indigo King are already out-- The Shadow Dragons comes out on October 27, 2009.
This is an absolute must if you have fans of Lewis or Tolkien. My only problem was that I felt like I was missing a lot of the references. It would have been nice to have an index in the back. I had, for example, no idea who Charles Williams was.
Back to cleaning out the library this week. Two more alarming finds-- four remote controls that are plugged into the televisions and have long wires, and a turkey shaped wicker basket filled with dessicated buckeyes. The madness ends on Friday, and then the library will be CLEAN!