Michael Spradlin's second book in The Youngest Templar series, Trail of Fate, comes out on October 29th. His editor, Timothy Travaglini, from Penguin Young Readers was kind enough to send me an ARC, and I am glad he did. The first book was a great hit in my library, and is just the thing for my son right now.
Tristan, who has found the Holy Grail, is tossed ashore in France after a shipwreck only to be found by Cathers who are being chased by the High Counsel who judges them to be heretics. Tristan takes a liking to their leader, Celia, and vows to help her. Along with Robard and Maryam, a girl assassin, they go to Celia's mountain fortress and help them defend the group from the High Counsel, who has joined forces with the evil Sir Hugh.
This story is filled with wry humor, lots of action, and great cliff-hanger endings to chapters. Mr. Travaglini says in his letter that fans of The Ranger's Apprentice series will like this one, and having just read five of those, I agree. If you haven't read The Keeper of the Grail (reviewed here October 06, 2008), definitely look into it. Much more exciting than many books set during this period.
I'm afraid I am weary of Jacqueline Wilson after my binge this summer. Double Act is about twins, Ruby and Garnet, who live with their father and his girlfriend. The have very different personalities, with Ruby being the most obnoxious... I mean "funny and outgoing". Their father moves them to a small country town to start a bookstore, and the twins try out for a play, but most of the book is spent with Ruby complaining about school, the girlfriend, etc. Still, Wilson's books are hard to put down, and Picky Reader is still working through the pile I brought back from Ireland and hasn't tired of her yet.