In The Wrath of Siren, by Kurt Chambers, part two of the Truth Teller Series, readers find Charlotte, the Truth Teller, back home with her family, believing her memories of the other realm and of her friend there, Elderfield, to be but dreams. But when the elf, Goffer, provides Elderfield with a pendant, which acts as another Gateway between the worlds, Elderfield determines he must warn Charlotte not to re-visit his world: the Dark Druid, Siren, is on the move. As luck would have it, upon returning back to his realm, Elderfield loses his Gateway. Tragic events follow, the consequences of which are that Elderfield’s Gateway winds up in Siren’s hands. Following the Dark Druid’s visit to Charlotte’s world, he believes he has incapacitated the Truth Teller, making it possible for him to wage a successful war back home. When he attacks the Stronghold, using an army of trolls and the winged beasts known as terrorhawks, inhabitants have little hope for survival. Will Charlotte, the only one capable of stopping Siren, arrive in time? And if she does, will she be able to access the power she will require to save the realm?
Kurt Chambers provides young readers with a decidedly “grown up” story. By that I mean that his writing is solid and his word choices are meaningful. Too often times, stories for young readers lack these things, succumbing to the use of slang and allowing the rules of grammar to go to the wayside. Not so with Chambers. Young readers also will experience a bit of the terror and violence typical of a more grown up story, yet the author does not dally with these issues, nor is he too graphic. Rather, he uses them to add credibility to his tale. Chambers develops characters that middle-graders are likely to identify with—or to fear, as the case may be. Along the way, they will learn of the value of friendship, of the worth of heroes, and of the importance of discovering that sometimes those different from them in some ways might also be like them in others, as the search for freedom and goodness is largely a universal one.
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