Cantor and Bixby have spent the last few years serving as Realm Walkers. They cross through portals to other worlds to keep peace and protect anyone in need. Now they join forces again to stop two realms on a collision course with their homeland. The Realm Walkers Guild stands mired in corruption, so Cantor and Bixby will find no allies or aid there. Instead they set out to locate Chomountain, a man supernaturally gifted by Primen. They will have to find and free Cho before their homes are destroyed.
While the first book in the Realm Walkers series had a middle grade feel, Two Renegade Realms begins later, with Cantor older, wiser and much taller. The story takes on more of a young adult tone though its content remains safe enough for younger eyes and ears. The characters and their quirks make for a warm cast.
Between the action sequences, characters shuffle through and rearrange hampers, which always seem to contain fresh, wonderful foods and useful items. They enjoy many picnics and meals together. While those scenes are cute, some of them feel like filler – not much is happening. Some of the conflicts resolve easily – once so easily that even the characters comment on how simple the solution was. Instead of the action and suspense building to a mountain peak as the story unfolds toward its climax, it has more of a slalom feel with conflict and resolution repeating through the course of the tale.
Fans of Cantor, Bixby and Bridger will enjoy following more of their story and seeing how their relationships with one another have changed since the earlier novel.
Sexual Content None.
Spiritual Content Cantor and his friends are devoted followers of Primen in a monotheistic religion similar to Christianity
Violence Brief battle sequences and some instances of peril. No gory details.
About One Realm Beyond
Cantor D’Ahma waited his whole life for this day. Born with a gift to jump between worlds, the young realm walker is finally ready to leave his elderly mentor and accept his role as protector and defender of the realms.
But mere hours after he steps through his first portal, Cantor discovers that his job will be more dangerous and difficult than he ever imagined. The realms are plagued with crime and cruelty, and even members of the once-noble Realm Walkers Guild can no longer be trusted. To make matters worse, his first assignment—finding a dragon to assist him on his quest—has led him to Bridger, who is clearly inept and won’t leave him alone.
With the help of his new friends Bixby and Dukmee, Cantor must uncover the secrets of the corrupt guild before they become too powerful to be stopped. But his skills aren’t progressing as fast as he would like, and as he finds himself deeper and deeper in the guild’s layers of deceit, Cantor struggles to determine where his true allegiance lies
Wonder by R J Palacio
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on February 14, 2012
About Wonder I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on January 28, 2014
About Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy A modern-day fairy tale set in a mysterious museum that is perfect for readers of Roald Dahl and Blue Balliett.
Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help.
As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy’s own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.
A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.
Who Could It Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket
Published by Little, Brown and Company on October 24, 2012
About Who Could It Be at This Hour? The adventure began in a fading town. Far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket started an apprenticeship for a secret organization shrouded in mystery and secrecy. He asked questions that shouldn’t have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published that shouldn’t be read. Not even by you. Seriously, we recommend that you do NOT ask your parents for this, the first book in his new ALL THE WRONG QUESTIONS series.
Lemony Snicket, in case you don’t already know, grew up to be the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events series.
Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle (Gabriel Finley #1) by George Hagen
Published by Random House Children’s/Schwartz and Wade Publishing on August 26, 2014
About Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle A tangle of ingenious riddles, a malevolent necklace called a torc, and flocks of menacing birds: these are just some of the obstacles that stand between Gabriel and his father, Adam Finley, who has vanished from their Brooklyn brownstone. When Gabriel rescues an orphaned baby raven named Paladin, he discovers a family secret: Finleys can bond with ravens in extraordinary ways. Along with Paladin and three valiant friends, Gabriel sets out to bring his father home. They soon discover that Adam is being held captive by the evil demon Corax—half man, half raven, and Adam’s very own disgraced brother—in a foreboding netherworld of birds called Aviopolis. With help from his army of ghoulish minions, the valravens, Corax is plotting to take over the land above, and now only Gabriel stands in his way.
The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on March 25, 2014
About The Mark of the Dragonfly Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields. The girl doesn’t remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she’s from the Dragonfly Territories and that she’s protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home. The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect–everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible. Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.
Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light by Jaimie Engle
About Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light Clifton Chase is the latest target for bully Ryan Rivales. But after he finds a mysterious arrow in his closet, he takes Ryan’s bet to see who can hit the target. Ryan nails the bull’s-eye, but Clifton’s piece of junk arrow sails out of sight and when he finally finds it, something isn’t right. Somehow, Clifton has been magically transported back to 1485 England, where he meets two princes bullied by their tyrant uncle who locked them in prison to steal their throne. Only after Clifton learns the true meaning of friendship, bravery, and sacrifice can he help the princes escape and find the courage to face his own bully. Befriended by a dwarf, a mythical bird called Simurgh, and a cast of comical characters, Clifton’s fantasy adventure through medieval times is perfect for boys and girls of all ages, and the young at heart. For those who like fantasy kids books like Percy Jackson and Harry Potter.
The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
Published by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers on November 4, 2014
About The Map to Everywhere Wherever you need to go–the Map to Everywhere can take you there.
To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it’s her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere–but they aren’t the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can’t beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear!
In New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis’s first installment of a fantastical new series, adventure, magic, and hilarity collide in the treacherous skies and dangerous waters of the Pirate Stream. Heart-pounding escapades and a colorful cast of characters will have readers setting sail through this wholly original and unforgettable tale.
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
Published by Random House Children’s on August 26, 2014
About The Fourteenth Goldfish Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?
Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?
The day Cantor has been dreaming of has finally arrived: his mentors have released him to make the journey through a portal to a new realm and begin his training as a Realm Walker. A shape-shifting dragon and a wild-haired girl quickly join Cantor as they begin their first mission to free prisoners forced into military service. Though Cantor believes Realm Walkers should be just and good, he discovers many simply are not so. When he’s confronted with the depths of the depravity of those leading the Realm Walkers Guild, he cannot simply sit by while the corruption runs rampant, even if stopping them should cost his life.
While Cantor and Bixby are both fascinating and unique characters, the author’s prowess really shows in her creation of the dragon characters, Bridger and his sister Totobee-Rodolow, who put the fun and pizzazz in this tale. Though at first glance this may seem a heavy story for younger readers, Paul handles the battles and conflicts deftly, shielding the reader from unnecessarily gory details and focusing on character and story. Recommended for readers ages eight to fourteen.
Sexual Content None.
Spiritual Content Cantor and his friends serve the god Primen in a monotheistic religion similar to Christianity.
Violence Brief references to physical violence. Cantor and his friends work to thwart a terrorist attack against council leaders. Details are vague and the attackers aren’t featured much.
Cantor and Bixby team up with a healer who uses various potions to patch their wounds.