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VINE VOICEon September 28, 2011
I really have no words that can convey how impressed I am with this fine series by Kazu Kibuishi.

"The Last Council" is like "The Empire Strikes Back" of the Amulet series in which Emily has to face the darker side of the hero's journey. New characters are introduced as older characters come back into the story.

What is impressive about "The Last Council" is that three different stories are presented in one volume and it shows the growth of Kazu and his team that these stories are balanced so well and work together so that when you arrive to the end, it feels organic.

A continued enjoyment of the series is Emily's mother who has a really great line while they are in Cielis which is both true in general but wrong in context to the situation. When you read the story, you'll know exactly what that means. But that line shows just how finely tuned this story has become.

The art, especially, is beautiful. And while the characters are round and "cartoon-y", the story itself does not shirk from showing just how risky the adventure has become.

I look forward to new volumes of this fantastic series.
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VINE VOICEon November 10, 2011
After having finished the first three novels, I anxiously awaited this next release. Each of the first three books pulled me in with great characters, colorful scenes, and suspenseful storylines. The fourth novel was no different, and well worth the wait.

Story overview:
Having finally arrived at the mysterious floating island known as Cielis, Emily becomes anything but relaxed. At first, the expected assembly with the Guardian Council was delayed, and then she's told that she must first pass a test.

Meanwhile, Miskit and Cogsley are rescued by a mysterious man who has ties to their old master. And back on Cielis, Leon and Enzo investigate the reason for the oddly empty streets.

Things go afoot when Emily learns that she must not only pass a test, but compete with other Stonekeepers. What should have been an open invitation turns into a big ordeal. As she works through the trials, that uneasy feeling from before only intensifies.

My thoughts:
Now I can't wait for the fifth volume to come out. One of the best graphic novel series out there. Be sure to check them out if you haven't already.

Things to consider:
No sexual situations, harsh language, gore, or extreme cases of violence. There are a few scenes that could be considered scary to younger children, but otherwise the tale is harmless. Good for preteens and older. Equally good for boys and girls.

James D. Maxon
Author of Traphis: A Wizard's Tale
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on August 30, 2011
I loved this book. As with previous Amulet books, the illustrations are wonderful and the story line continues to develop nicely. There are 3 things going on during this book that are brought together towards the end of the book. I continue to like how characters and the story is evolving. I wrote in a past review that time will tell, but so far I consider this to Bone-like in its breadth, depth, and overall quality. It also seems like the story will take at least 10 books to tell at its current pace. I think the author has suggested this much. My only 'disappointment' is that I waited 1 year for this book (pre-ordered in March) and finished it within an hour. That said, I know it takes a lot of effort to produce these books-- I follow the author's twitter and blog. I guess this is just a new experience for me. In the case of Bone, for example, I found out about them a few years ago so I was able to buy all of the books and read them back to back.
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on September 1, 2011
This is the fourth book in the Amulet series by Kibuishi. I love this series and this book added even more to the story.

Emily and her friends travel to Cielis to hopefully get help from the Council to fight the Elf King. Things don't go as planned and Emily is thrown into a contest against other Stonekeepers to see who is worthy of a seat on the council. During this the Elf King's son is thrown into jail, and Emily's shipmates are left wandering the strangely empty town of Cielis.

This installment didn't progress the story as far as other installments have, mainly because our group of characters gets split up for the majority of the story. We also don't get to spend much time with the characters we know and love (much of the story follows Emily and she is separated from everyone else); but we do meet some interesting new characters.

Emily meets a few other Stonekeepers, so it was interesting to see how the other Stonekeepers wield their Stones. Emily also seems to have come to an uneasy balance with her Stone and is starting to trust its advice more than she used to. The plot takes some unexpected twists and turns that kept me guessing and wondering how everything will pan out in the end.

Miskit and Cogsley have some interesting adventures of their own and acquire an adorable new little dragon friend. Can't wait to see what their new little dragon friend turns into over time!

The illustration is colorful, beautiful and it has been for all of the books in this series. I love the artwork in these books, they are just so wonderful to look at. There is still a little bit of a steampunk element in this book, but not as much as in previous books.

Overall another wonderful installment in this series. Beautiful artwork, great characters, a fascinating world, and a story that keeps getting better and better. The story doesn't progress as much in this installment as it has in previous ones; mainly because the characters are split up for the majority of the story. I still really enjoyed reading this and can't wait to see what happens next.
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on December 5, 2012
This set of books starts off with a bold tragedy that sets up the rest of the characters. Fun and fantastic, Tolkien like with a mash up of Jim Henson muppets. The story is captivating and possibly more important, is the art. Attention to detail, vibrante colours and imaginative creations. You root for the lead charcters, Emily and Navin. Being so young but brave to go after their mother who has been taken by a octopus slash bug monster. The new world they discover will shock and awe them. To find out this place is hidden from the eyes of "our" world and that destruction can come to both. It is reveled to the kids by their great grandpa Silas, who sets them on this important mission. Character delvopment is huge in this book series.The friends that go with Emily and Navin you will cheer for. Miskit the rabbit, Cogsley the jerk robot and Leon the fox, bounty hunter.All important for Emily and Navin to complete their quest. I hope that book five is not the last of this book collection.
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on September 2, 2015
This installment lives up to the reputation of the author and the series. Beautifully illustrated and riveting! My only complaint is that I'm always left wanting more! I really like how the story is more than just the battle between good and evil, but also covers the growth of the characters, the history behind the events, and foreshadowing of more to come!
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on March 17, 2016
My oldest who is 13 read the first (3) books a while ago and wanted the rest of the series.

He and my twin 9 year olds love this series and are currently reading through them.

I will read the series after they are done and give a proper review.
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on March 19, 2014
My daughter came home from the school library raving over this book and said she couldn't wait to finish dinner so she could go read more. A few days later she was depressed because there was a wait list for book 2. I made a deal with her that I would buy her book 2 if she did something for me. She did such a good job I bought her book 2 that same week. She finished it so quickly and couldn't stop talking about it that I decided to see if there were more books in the series. I found out there were 5 with a 6th one in the works! Right then I decided to buy the other books. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find them all but it was worth the effort! I ended up ordering the entire series including Book 1. Even though she had already read it she wanted to take her time and re-read it. WOW that says it all! Worth every penny. She loved all of them!! It had her from the first word of Book 1 to the end of Book 5. Waiting for Book 6 to be released. I highly recommend this series.
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on January 15, 2016
Book four in the bestselling seven-book graphic novel series ramps up the action and danger, as newly-minted stonekeeper Emily and her family arrive in Cielis, the city in the sky ...where it immediately feels like something is "off". Seems the townspeople - the few that can be found - fear something so badly it's practically keeping them prisoners in their own homes, and immediately upon landing the two elves in Emily's crew are, unbeknownst to their friends, taken prisoner and treated with veiled threats of death. Even Emily, in Cielis to get answers, is instead treated like an interloper herself, forced in fact to compete for a place in the Guardian Council, an "honor" she doesn't want in the first place. Betrayal, hidden secrets revealed, and a tense finale make this one of the best in this enthralling series. Even aside from the usual take-your-breath-away artwork from artist/writer Kibuishi, part four of this brilliant series - which made this reader, who'd never read a graphic novel before, an instant fan - boasts a cliffhanger that should have you careening on to book five. ****1/2
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on November 2, 2015
I can't deny the fact that I am a little bit obsessed with this series. I've tried getting into more middle grade stuff cuz it's always really fun and adventurous with good and positive messages, and this series has not let me down!
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