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Curse of the Spider King: The Berinfell Prophecies Series - Book One Hardcover – November 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Series: Berinfell Prophecies (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400315050
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400315055
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–9—The first title (Thomas Nelson, 2009) in Wayne Batson and Christopher Hopper's new fantasy series introduces the seven Elven Lords of Allyra, thought to have perished in the Siege of Berinfell. In reality, they were safely transported to Earth where they have been scattered around the globe and adopted by human parents. Now approaching their 13th birthday, each of them is about to come into his or her elfin powers—gifts that will be used to help them battle the minions of the evil Spider King in a desperate struggle to save their race from extinction. Aided by a series of sentinels (elves disguised as humans), they embark on a dangerous journey from Earth to another world where they will be both welcomed and hunted. Despite uneven writing and narration by Blaine Hogan and Greg Whalen that is not uniformly consistent or successful, the fast pace, non-stop action, humorous interactions, and unfolding of the personalities of the seven Elven Lords will keep listeners engaged and eager for the next installment.—Cindy Lombardo, Cleveland Public Library, OH
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

"Much of this first book of the Berinfell Prophecies lays the historical groundwork for the series. Seven 13-year-olds in various cities learn that they’re actually elves who were exiled as babies and adopted by humans, who had no idea who they really were. The time has come for them to return home to Allyra. Greg Whalen's generally relaxed narration presents a strong contrast to his suspenseful delivery of the events that unfold. As the youngsters’ journey home begins, led by the Sentinels, the Spider King and his minions actively try to destroy them. Whalen uses a range of accents, some which sound more credible than others. In all, his narration is well paced and engaging." 
J.E.M. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Would highly recommend this book a great read especially for fantasy lovers.
James A. Nichols
Overall, the book is a very enjoyable read for the intended reading audience, intermediate readers and up, as well as the parents or adults who like a good fantasy.
Jason Joyner
The plot, when coupled with good characters, is what really turns a good story into a great one.
Star Dreamer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Petrie on November 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Heed the prophecies all you readers out there. I'm sure by now you've scanned reviews and heard the echoes of the impact this book is making. I am 15 years old and devour all kinds of fantasy, secular and Christian, adult and teen works. To start, this book proved itself worthy to sit on the number one spot of my "Best Modern Fantasy" list. At least until its sequel is released.

COTSK is about 7 teenagers, each from varying backgrounds (a variety enough for any reader to resonate with at least one), who are thrust into strange and confusing circumstances wrought with danger and mystery. COTSK is the story of another world, Allyra, and how the noblest of all races in that world was nearly destroyed. COTSK is the story of how 7 teens are revealed as Elven lords prophesied to save a dying land.

Now don't leave me yet. Curse of the Spider King is NOT your average "two worlds" novel. This isn't the type of story where children wander into another world and are instantly filled with unlikely courage and save the day. Quite the contrary. This is the story where realistic teens with hurting and burdensome hearts are faced with an impossible task (yes, quite impossible) and learn two words--Endurance and Victory.

Be prepared when you read this book for a large cast of characters, characters with distinct personalities and histories, deep characters, and be prepared to fall in love with them. Be prepared to read this book and forget about everything else save it. I have never felt the sensation of "not being able to put a book down" until I read this book. And I have read everything from Eragon to Shannara to Dragons In Our Midst. This book easily tops them all. And better yet, it lays the groundwork for an exciting series to come.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Donita K. Paul on October 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, yuck! What can be worse than a room full of spiders? A book full of giant warrior spiders and their Gnar riders. Totally gross and a very good story. I enjoyed this book tremendously. I live in a basement (I call it my Hobbit Hole) and deal with bugs, usually centipedes. I wasn't sure I wanted to read a book with a Spider King in it. But the story captured me. There are quite a few characters to keep track of, but that was only a minor problem. Each of the 7 Elf lord children have distinct personalities, and the adult Elf Sentinels added rather than subtracted from the lengthy roll call. My favorite character is Kiri Lee, who plays wildly beautiful music on her violin and walks on the wind. I'd like to do both. The bad guys are really evil. The good guys are realistically drawn young teens. Their goal is impossible yet worthy of attempting. The whole thing comes together as an exciting read. I only wish the second book was here for me to read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By fredtownward VINE VOICE on March 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was already a fan of Wayne Thomas Batson's previous fantasy trilogy The Door Within, The Rise of the Wyrm Lord, and The Final Storm and his two pirate adventures Isle of Swords and Isle of Fire, and I knew Christopher Hopper's The White Lion Chronicles Rise of the Dibor and The Lion Vrie by reputation so I leaped at the chance to try the product of their collaboration. I'm glad I did because while it is not perfect (what is?), it is very, very good, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

As other reviewers have pointed out, having SEVEN heroes asks an awful lot of the reader; we don't finish meeting them all until Chapter 16! Now to Batson's and Hopper's credit, I DIDN'T need a chart to keep the heroes straight, which I half suspected I would need, in fact the seven leads are quite distinctly drawn: 4 boys, 3 girls; 1 child prodigy, 1 star athlete, 5 middle of the pack; 1 Asian, 1 Black, 4 Whites, 1 kind of Bluish; 1 Briton, 1 Korean raised French, and 5 Americans.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Justin G. TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Curse of the Spider King is the first book in The Berinfell Prophecies, a planned fantasy series by authors Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper. In this initial volume, we are introduced to seven young teenagers on Earth who are about to discover their true heritage - that they're the lost descendants of powerful Elvin Lords. Of course, the kids find this out just as the agents of the evil Spider King - who are responsible for their parents' deaths and their exile - are about to close in on them. Aiding the children are undercover Elvin protectors, who are tasked with watching them as they first manifest their Elvin powers and shepherding them back to their true home world of Allyra.

I don't usually check out fantasy series aimed at young readers, but after being pleasantly surprised (and later, totally enthralled) by the Harry Potter books, I decided to give Curse of the Spider King a shot. First and foremost, I can totally see how this would appeal to younger readers. The young main characters coming of age, the notion of escaping to another world where they really belong, and just the sheer adventure of it all seem perfect for younger readers. Unfortunately, older readers will probably be quicker to notice how much the story borrows from other established series. The conflict between the Elves and the Drefids and Gwar is straight from Lord of the Rings, The, the orphan inheriting great power while fleeing dark adversaries has been a fantasy staple since at least David Eddings'
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