Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What began as a video game has become all too real for Artie Kingfisher.  He has escaped the evil Lordess Morgaine, reclaimed Excalibur, and finally opened the gate to the legendary isle of Avalon, where he will take his rightful place as King Arthur reborn.  Now Artie and his friends-each with a mythical sword in hand-are ready to become the new Knights of the Round Table.  In Avalon they are safe, but their fight is far from over.
Reeling from her defeat, Morgaine still plots to overthrow Artie and claim Excalibur as her own, while Merlin's blind quest for ower grows wilder and more dangerous.  In preparation for the greatest battle of his life, Artie must discover the secrets of an ancient and mysterious tool called Scarffern and recover nothing less than the mythical Holy Grail.  And he may soon find that his final fight won't be against an enemy-but against someone who he used to call friend. (taken from inside book jacket)
Picking up where the last two books left off, we find Artie and the gang have finally reached Avalon.  Just when it seems like things are finally looking up, we find that they're worse off than ever.  Not only has everything gone crazy in Otherworld, but Artie and Kay's home world as well.  Now the kids are left without their guardian adults.  It's fascinating to me just how much they've grown since the beginning.  Though they still battle with fear, they're wiser and braver.  They've learned to take their surroundings in stride and use wit to help them survive. 
In this third book of the Otherworld Chronicles, things have taken an unlikely turn.  Being the last book of the series, I was expecting everything to be a bit more predictable and I'm glad I was wrong.  I still find myself taking unlikely twists and turns with my beloved characters.  Honestly, I'm sad to see the ending to this tale.  It's quite the fulfilling series and this last book was the perfect ending, but I still want more.  I'm interested to see what Johnson-Shelton comes up with next. 
For those King Arthur/Holy Grail fans, this is a must-have series for your collection.  Anyone interested in a grand fantasy adventure will have a blast with these books.  For me, they were reminiscent of a much less complicated Gregory Maguire.  The language is simplistic enough for younger readers to be captivated and pulled into adventure, but the  layering is definitely there.  One last note:  This would be the perfect gift set for any young reader or book collector.
Reviewed for Minding Spot

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