Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Brian Farrey
Illustrator: Brett Helquist
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Jasper Grimjax is entangled in another mystery. This one involves a secret society of master thieves that have disappeared, the unsolved theft of valuable relics, fantastical and deadly monsters, traps, ambushes, and magical potions along with tricks and cons. Thrown into the mix is Jasper’s former friend, Maloch, who likes to show his superiority in every way, and a brother and sister trying to get their parents out of prison for crimes they did not commit. Adventures abound as these four use their wits to solve the puzzle before it is too late.
Narrated by Jasper, the story line gallops along from one fantastic situation to another. Though magic and sorcery are a big part of this story, Jasper’s good sense and understanding of the plants and animals of his world demonstrate that knowledge can be a powerful tool. Words and expressions from Vengekeep-land are peppered throughout the tale to cleverly attract the interest of readers aged 7-12. Though this is the second book in the Vengekeep trilogy, Farrey discloses enough detail from the first book to make this volume stand on its own while creating anticipation for more in book three; The Grimjinx Rebellion.