Sunday, January 3, 2021

Prisoner of the Black Hawk

Prisoner of the Black Hawk
by A.L. Tait
Recommended Ages: 11+

The race is underway to map the world. Quinn, a homesick farm boy with an eidetic memory, is the mapmaker on one of three Verdanian ships that sailed out, hoping against hope that the world isn't flat and they won't sail off the edge into the jaws of the dragon Genesi. The two competing ships from their county are competition enough, but also unofficially in the race are a ship from their Gelynion enemy. In this book, Quinn falls into the clutches of the Gelynions and is held under brutal conditions, forced to make maps for them, while his shipmates race now to catch up and get him back.

Quinn is in peril from treachery, superstition and all the dangers of sailing in unknown seas – from storms and rough water to poisonous snakes ashore. Meanwhile, back on the Libertas (the ship he belongs to), his childhood friend Ash is exposed as a girl – and it's bad luck to have a girl on board. From evil deeds done at night in a tropical jungle to desperate moments on a ship boarded by pirates, this is a suspenseful and thrilling adventure in a world that has just begun to be explored, sparking the reader's imagination about what may have been at stake in our own world's age of discovery. Throw in omens of the deep, super-gifted kids and a subtle touch of magic, and it adds up to a terrific voyage for young readers intrigued by the age of sailing ships and hand-drawn maps.

This is Book 2 of the "Mapmaker Chronicles," which also includes Race to the End of the World, Breath of the Dragon and Beyond the Edge of the Map. Allison Tait is an Australian author also known for the "Ateban Cipher" books.

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