Monday, April 02, 2012

Quest for the Secret Keeper

Time Slip Tuesday is a recurring feature at Charlotte's Library.

This book was received from Young Adults Books Central and reviewed there. If there is a school or public library who could use this new hardcover book in their collection, please e mail me a short message about why you would like it, and I'll send it to one lucky respondent. If I am ever allowed out of the house to go to the post office! Goodness knows I have enough mailing envelopes now!

Laurie, Victoria. Quest for the Secret Keeper. (Oracles of Delphi Keep #3)
In 1232 BC, Laodamia of Phoenicia, the Oracle of Delphi, is dying in Morocco. She gives her bronze cuffs to the Carthaginian General Adrastus because they activate the portal for the United. Laodamia is about to die, so makes the general her Secret Keeper and swears him to delivering boxes of secrets and marrying Adria. Fast forward to 1940, where the orphan Ian is mourning the death of the man with whom his mother left him before he ended up in the Delphi Keep orphanage. Ian has other worries-- England has entered the war against Germany and English children are being evacuated into the countryside. Ian gets involved in a scuffle with a German officer and a mistress at the school is injured, so he tries to get Eva, another orphan who travels through the portal and who has healing powers, to come help. He meets Argos, an ancient Phoenician solider who is sent with the oracles prophecy. Ian and his friends must work to solve this, but if the United leave Delphi Keep, they won't be protected, and only they can solve the riddle of the propehct, find and save the secret keeper, and help the English against the Germans. The prophecy
indicates that seven children will come together, and this book ends with only five having been found, so there is probably another book on the way.
Strengths: Since this involves some mythology (as well as some French witches), fans of Rick Riordan might be interested. There is also a lot of World War II information; it reminds me a little of Ted Bell's The Nick of Time with it's journeying between two historical periods.
Weaknesses: This is the third book in the series, and does not stand alone well. I was very confused by many of the subplots, but don't think that I will backtrack and read The Oracle of Delphi Keep (2009) or The Curse of Deadman's Forest (2010).


  1. I've got a gifted fourth grader in search of something to read. He's a big fan of The Lightning Thief as well as WWII. Any reason why this would stand out as inappropriate for a kid his age? I'm guessing the family won't mind too much about a normal amount of violence, mainly just sex and extreme language...If you think it's appropriate, he sounds like the exact target audience.

  2. This would probably be fine for your fourth grader, Mrs. N. No sex or language. The Nick Bell books would probably be good as well. I also like the Anne Ursu trilogy that starts with Shadow Thieves.

  3. Thanks for the recommendations!

    Do the Ted Bell/Nick books have many fantasy/sci-fi elements other than the time travel? I have one boy that is overly attached to historical fiction, but I think he'll accept time travel, he really liked George Washington's Socks...