The Land of Elyon #2: Beyond the Valley of Thorns

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Patrick Carman
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Year: 2005
ISBN: 9780439700979
Pages: 221

Alexa Daley returns to Bridewell for the summer and no sooner has she returned than her old friend Yipes appears with a posthumous letter from Warvold. Requiring her to go on an adventure, Warvold sends Alexa and Yipes to meet John Christopher, an ex-convict working for Warvold. A city beyond the dark hills lies under the evil reign of Victor Grindall. The forces of good and evil collide as the fallen seraph, Abbadon, controls Grindall and seeks to destroy Elyon, the god of the land. Aided by the last of the former seraphs, a giant named Armon, Alexa begins a revolution that will lead to a larger fight in the third novel in the series.

Extremely different in tone compared to the original story, this story contains heavy religious overtones. However, the characters remain true to their original development. It was clear that when Carman wrote the first novel, he did not know he was going to be writing this sequel. In the first novel, it ends with Alexa saying she never hear the animals speak again, but in this story she finds another stone that allows her to communicate again. Also, facts were written in which had no basis from the first novelthe original novel stated that the walls around the cities were built to keep out unknown terrors, however this novel insinuated that they were built to keep out Victor Grindall and his ogres. Aside from these inconsistencies, the story is fairly enjoyable and an exciting return to a magical world.

*Contains moderate violence