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Adam Equinox and his friends believe they have said farewell to the fantasy world of Karazan forever. They couldn't be more wrong.
His adventures in Arakesh over, Ada returns to Highgate and the bleak realities of orphanage life. There's just one difference: in Adam himself. Deep down he feels a glimmer of hope that maybe - if he can break the habit of a lifetime and stay out of trouble - he isn't doomed to be a loser and an outcast forever.
But when a sinister new boy, Weevil, arrives at Highgate, everything starts to go horribly wrong...
Adam is thrown an unexpected lifeline: an invitation to Quested Court for the holidays. There's just one problem: Weevil is determined to come too.
When Adam finally arrives at Quentin Quested's remote country estate, he finds the household in turmoil. Q's precious daughter Hannah has disappeared - and there's only one possible explaination. But it isn't until Adam and his friends follow her to Karazan that they realise the unthinkable truth: Hannah has fallen into the cruel hands of King Karazeel.
To rescue her, the five friends must undertake the most hazardous journey of all: beyond the shroud to Shakesh, the hidden stronghold of the evil king himself.
Another astounding installment in the Karazan Quartet. (Which I must admit to feeling a little confused by - '5' seems to be the key number for these stories, yet only 4 books?! Why not a Quintet Mrs. Jones?)
Once again, the lead character, Adam, has a chance to return to Quested Court to visit young Hannah, who's life he helped save in [a href="reviews/ >the first book[/a>, and her brilliant father Quentin Quested, known to his friends simply as Q. But, as usual, Matron has plans to thwart his pleasure... and this time she has an ally in Weevil, the new boy who is desperate to meet Q, and refuses to take 'Sod Off!' as an answer.
With the same "slow lead-up, rapid wind-up" style as the first book, I must admit to finding this one a little annoying to start off, but the story rapidly unfolds and becomes quite engrossing.
The series of overlapping plots, some localised to the book in hand, some spanning a couple of titles, some obviously destined to span the whole series, can become a little confusing in places, but any long-term Sci-Fi or Fantasy reader will soon adapt.
Overall, the series is starting to take shape quite well, with hints being dropped in descrete places that will, I am sure, culminate in a very revealing secret (which is a little predictable already, but SHhhhhhhh, don't let it out yet.)
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