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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2005
Middle books in trilogies can be tricky. Not only must they sustain the story introduced in the first installment, they must develop it sufficiently to keep the reader turning pages before handing everything off to the last of the trio. Good middle books do this; very good middle books leave the reader impatient for the finale and keep him or her thinking about where the story is likely to go for quite some time. I am happy to report that T.A. Barron has done that and more with the second installment of The Great Tree of Avalon.

The book is divided into three separate story lines after an unsettling beginning that finds Tamwyn, Ellie, Briona and Scree atop Hallia's Peak, awaiting a vision they hope will tell them how and where to begin their fight to save Avalon and finally defeat Rhita Gawr and his minion, Kulwich. No sooner has this vision unfolded than a shocking attack kills one of the rarest creatures in Avalon and wounds Scree. From there, Tamwyn, Ellie and Scree must follow separate paths, hoping the results of their journeys will return Avalon and the stars overhead back to a healthy state.

As each character follows their quest, their growth and realization that their need and feelings for other members of the story unfold in ways that feel right and contribute to the flow of the story. Enough happens in this middle part of the trilogy to keep you turning pages while leaving a setup for a dandy finale in the book to come. Tamwyn and Ellie both do some growing up in this book, but the surprise is how the events in the book effect Scree. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found myself pondering how T.A. Barron will resolve some of the seemingly impossible challenges that face the characters by the final page.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2005
I'm happy to report that I've never been disappointed by any of T.A. Barron's novels and this one is absolutely no exception! It continues the story from the first in this trilogy, "The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy." The companions Tamwyn, Ellie, Scree, Nuic, Batty Lad, Brionna, Henni, Rhita Gawr & Kulwych return with a few new characters including a sinister "jester" who is really an assassin supposedly working for Rhita Gawr & Kulwych but who really has an agenda of his own.

Elli sets out on her own quest with help from Nuic, her sprite, to destroy a corrupted crystal that Rhita Gawr is using to summon his hordes of the undead to fight a war. Meanwhile, Tamwyn is journeying to the stars, as his father once tried to do, to keep the stars in Pegasus from going out and to relight the stars in the Wizard's Staff constellation. Then Scree is trying to join his brother Tamwyn but is trying to heal in an eaglefolk settlement from his wounds when he and his healer are attacked by other eaglefolk. He then goes on a mission to destroy the Queen of this clan and her merciless warrior who has connections to Scree.

This is a powerful and mesmerizing sequel that only leaves the reader eagerly anticipating the conclusion of this trilogy. The descriptions of nature, magical and otherwise are eye opening and transport the reader into the story. You feel as though you can touch and see the magnificent plants, creatures, clouds and smell the scents of rare flowers, see the horror of giant termites and marvel at the sights of "prism" birds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2006
T.A. Barron's imagination is truely great. This book is the 2nd of a GREAT Trilogy.

The first book (TGTA: Child of the dark prophetcy) not only introduces you to the main characters but gets them well started on their magical journey. This book continues that journey only with GREATER expectations, since this is the great auther of the "Merlin" series, you know there is going to be dragons, ooo yea.

Also the way this book ends litterally leavs you hanging, I mean I got a hold of the first 2 books in 2005 and I've been waiting since then for the third book to come out, thats how good this book is, I've read books before that stop in the middle of something just so that you would get the next one, but they are NO comparesson to this great book. You can litterally see everything he's describing.

T.A. Barrons writting is very poetic, gentle and descriptive all at once, combined with his vivid imagination, its a perfect 10.

You HAVE to read the 1st book in order to understand this world and the mission all these characters are on, you will be lost if you don't.

I recommend buying all 3 at once, and since the third one (TGTA: The eternal flame) is coming out on Aug 16th I believe, you have no excuse.

Trust me, you will want the books with you back to back, its an intense read, it will keep you on your toes and then some.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2006
This book was amazing! Simply amazing. I loved every part of it. The strong characters were portrayed well, and I felt like I knew them like I had grown up listening to their tales. This book gave me so many different feelings, I was frustrated, sad, and happy, right along with the characters. This book is wonderful, and I'd recommend it to any reader, any age that could handle it. The best ages for this book would probably be 12 to until you lose your eyesight. There's no sexuality or foul language. This book was excellent and I can't wait for the third one in the trilogy to come out!
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on October 8, 2008
Normally T.A. Barron keeps your attention, but its not often that he keeps you on the edge of your seat. Or, in my case, from falling asleep on the couch. It's a very exciting book. Once again the idea that Avalon is a huge tree entertained me. All through the first book, I wondered what kind of creatures lived inside of the trunk and branches, and my question got answered. I won't say anything that will give away much, but there's more about Krysallus in this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2005
This kept me thrilled throughout the whole book. I couldn't put it down, following the adventures of Scree, Ellie and best of all Tamwyn. As they each set out on seperate quests to save Avalon. As Scree tries to save his eaglemen. Ellie tries to destroy the crystal that could mean the end of Avalon. As Tamwyn tries to relight the wizard's staff and find his father. Brillant!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2006
I enjoyed the first book and hoped the 2nd would be as good or better. I can't give this one 5 stars like the other reviewers. It loses 2 stars because:

1) The evil antagonist Rhita Gawr is essentially undeveloped in this book. Unlike book 1, where you get some character development of Kulwich, enough to dislike him for his brutal enslavement of creatures to build the giant dam, Rhita Gawr gets hardly any character depth in this installment.

2) There was hardly any development of either Tamwyn's or Elli's magical powers, even though it might have helped the characters, and developed the plot.

3) The ending is abrupt and disappointing. The story needed some kind of interim completion before the 3rd installment where, obviously, Barron intends for the characters to develop their magical powers and for the forces of Good and Evil to do virtually all of the battle. It seemed to me that at least some of the development for these things belonged in this book.

I sure hope the 3rd book finishes the job because Barron has left a lot of important unfinished business in the 2nd.
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on December 21, 2013
it came in great condition and I was very pleased. the book was really good and filled with advendture. I loved it
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2006
After reading the first book of Barron's Great Tree Trilogy, I was eagerly awaiting the next chapter in the epic. The story reads quickly and is much more colorful than that of the first book. The characters struggle more with themselves than each other in this story. More of the Seven Root realms are explored as well as inside the Great Tree itself. Although the story does not disappoint, Shadow on the Stars does not seem to have much of an ending and leaves the story hanging for the next book. Guess we will just have to wait till Fall of 2006 to see if our heroes will undoubtfully save Avalon from Evil.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2005
After finishing, I am even more impatient for Book Three than I was for Book Two. The ever-thickening, multi-layered plot combined with Mr. Barron's strong characters kept me constantly on the edge of my seat. Arthurian legend enthusiasts and nature lovers alike will surely appreciate this magical tale!
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Child of the Dark Prophecy (The Great Tree of Avalon, Book 1) by T. A. Barron (Hardcover - October 7, 2004)

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