Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: J. D. Rinehart
A prophecy tells of royal triplets who will overthrow their evil father, King Brutan. After their birth, the newborns—Agulphus, Elodie, and Tarlan—are smuggled away to three faraway kingdoms. Thirteen years later, Agulphus is a contortionist scheduled to perform in Brutan’s court. Far away, Elodie is kidnapped by rebels who want her to lead their army against Brutan. Meanwhile, Tarlan is flying with his tribe of giant eagles to find his siblings. Agulphus is arrested and put into a cell with King Brutan’s oldest child and Agulphus’s half-brother, Prince Nynus. Agulphus helps Nynus to escape and returns him to his mother, Queen Magritt. But the queen takes advantage of Agulphus and uses him to unknowingly kill Brutan. However, a magical mishap causes Brutan to become a zombie and spread a zombie plague among his subjects. Tarlan joins Elodie’s rebel forces and they try to attack Brutan’s undead soliders, but they retreat before the zombie plague spreads to them. Agulphus escapes Brutan’s zombies by going underground.
Even though the characters are middle-grade age, this story is more appropriate for young adults because of the plot complexity and the graphic, bloody scenes throughout the story. Besides the more mature content, Rinehart’s series is totally engrossing as readers follow the deadly misadventures of Agulphus, Elodie, and Tarlan. When readers catch up to the teenage triplets, each one is well established in their separate lives. However, destiny has different plans for them. For this book, each sibling learns about and accepts their leading roles in defeating Brutan. But that role cannot be fully realized when their father becomes a zombie. Any fans of The Chronicles of Prydain, The Lord of the Rings, or The Inheritance Cycle will thoroughly enjoy this series.
*Contains mild violence