From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Eleven-year-old Zagora Pym is the feisty heroine of this colorful, fast-paced adventure set in Morocco. She and her brother, Duncan, accompany their archaeologist father out into the desert to reconnect with Pitblade Yegen, Dr. Pym's partner who was thought to have died in an expedition 11 years earlier. Plans change when Dr. Pym is kidnapped and the siblings set off to save him, along with Mina, a young Azimuth, and Razziq, their desert guide. At the heart of the story lies the mysterious "Oryx Stone," which is said to be made of meteorite pieces of the planet Nar Azrak. Zagora learns that she is in fact a sentinel of the stone, and ancient glyphs reveal that the children comprise the Circle of Four who will in fact save the Ancient City of Zahir if they can return the stone to the Pyramid of Xuloc before the lunar eclipse. Throughout this journey, they encounter human enemies, venomous snakes, hyenas, and mutant scorpions that have taken over the city of Zahir since the disappearance of the Oryx Stone. Brodien-Jones does a beautiful job of weaving an engaging story of intrigue, myth, and adventure. Her characters seem to jump off the pages and stay with readers long after the story ends, as their transformative journey becomes ours. The crosshatched sketches perfectly capture the ambiance and setting of this exotic thriller. A must-have read.-Mary Beth Rassulo, Ridgefield Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review, Booklist, August, 2012:
Brodien-Jones mixes fantasy and adventure in a way that would make Indiana Jones feel right at home. Plucky Zagora, her absentminded father, and her often lazy brother are all changed by their journey, each finding out something unexpected about one another, the people they meet, and themselves.
Review, Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2012:
Combine a… premise involving the link between a mysterious planet and a half-buried desert city, giant scorpions with the power to communicate, and an eccentric cast of characters, and you’ve got a wild ride indeed. [For] readers who enjoy immersing themselves in adventures featuring creepiness of both the historical and otherworldly varieties.