Thursday, August 23, 2018

SERIES THURSDAY: The Last Firehawk, books 1-4


ABOUT THE BOOK

A terrible darkness is spreading across Perodia. Thorn, a powerful vulture, is using dark magic (and his dark army of spies!) to destroy the magical land. A young owl named Tag may be the only one who can save it! Tag dreams of one day becoming a brave warrior, but he is small . . . In this first book, Tag and his best friend -- a squirrel named Skyla -- meet the last firehawk. Together, the three friends learn about a magical stone. Could this stone be powerful enough to defeat Thorn? This action-packed series makes a great introduction to fantasy and quest stories for newly independent readers. Realistic black-and-white artwork appears on every page!

REVIEW

The Ember Stone is the first book in a new series that's part of Scholastic's Branches early chapter book series.  These books are highly illustrated chapter books that work well for young readers who are ready to move on from early readers.  This fantasy series revolves around the adventures of a young owl named Tag, and his best friend, a squirrel named Skyla and their efforts to retrieve a magical stone that will help save their home from an evil vulture. Rescuing the egg of a young firehawk sets them on their way as the firehawk can help them find the stone. This is an appealing fantasy series for those young readers who love animals and magic and aren't ready yet for the longer, more difficult series.


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the second book in this page-turning series, Tag, Skyla, and Blaze journey to the Crystal Caverns. They are searching for a piece of the magical Ember Stone. But they do not know exactly where it is, and they are not the only ones searching for it . . . The powerful vulture Thorn is also after the stone -- and after Blaze! Thorn's dark magic is quickly spreading across Perodia, so the friends must move fast to reach the stone! This action-packed series makes a great introduction to fantasy and quest stories for newly independent readers. Realistic black-and-white artwork appears on every page!

REVIEW

This second book in the series continues the excitement from the first one.  Tag, a young owl, continues on his quest with his friends, Skyla, a squirrel, and Blaze, the last firehawk.  Having found the first piece of the Ember Stone, they are determined to find the rest.  The second part of their quest takes them to the Crystal Caverns that are made of ice as well as being on the other side of the island.  The three young animals must use all their skills to deal with the challenges that arise, including ice leopards and collapsing ice caves.  Young readers who enjoyed the first book are bound to enjoy this one as well. 


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the third book in this page-turning series, Tag, Skyla, and Blaze journey to the Whispering Oak in search of the next piece of the Ember Stone. There, they find strange creatures called grumblebees. But where is the magical stone? Thorn's dark magic continues to spread. If Tag and his friends don't find all of the pieces soon, Perodia will be destroyed! This action-packed series makes a great introduction to fantasy and quest stories for younger readers. Realistic black-and-white artwork appears on every page!  

REVIEW

Tag and his friends continue their journey to gather all the pieces of the Ember Stone in this third book.  After running into more of Thorn's evil spies and barely escaping, they discover the keeper of the stone has no intention of giving it up without getting something in return.  But the bears who have the stone want the last honeycomb the grumblebees have made and the bees refuse to give it up.  Can Tag, Skyla, and Blaze sort out this problem before more of Thorn's spies turn up to take the Stone from them?  While lacking in depth, this light, fun fantasy has enough tension and action to keep younger readers entertained.  This series works best with readers who aren't yet into the big, thick, more detailed fantasies.  It works well as a read aloud for younger readers who aren't yet ready for chapter books on their own. 


ABOUT THE BOOK
 

In the fourth book in this fast-paced series, Tag, Skyla, and Blaze continue their journey in search of the next piece of the Ember Stone. The magical map leads them across the poisonous Bubbling Bog, all the way to the fairy-filled Lullaby Lake. As they travel east though, the friends are also moving closer and closer to Thorn's dark territory. What will happen when Tag finally comes face-to-face with his enemy? This action-packed series makes a great introduction to fantasy and quest stories for younger readers. Jeremy Norton's realistic black-and-white artwork appears on every page!

REVIEW

This fourth book in the series is my favorite so far.  In this book, Tag and his friends must confront Thorn himself.  When Thorn flies off with the Ember Stone, Tag and his friends fight desperately to get it back.  The Stone gets dropped into Lullaby Lake.  Tag and his friends try to retrieve the Stone, but something keeps putting them to sleep preventing them from doing so. They eventually discover that the lake is watched over by a group of nixies who are determined to protect the lake and keep the stone.  Will they be able to get the Stone back before Thorn returns with more of his army?  The tension in this book has gone up a bit since the last book. But it's not too scary for young readers/listeners.  The adventures are a bit more interesting as well.  This is a good series for young fantasy lovers who aren't ready for longer more detailed reads.

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