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The Secret of Ashona (Erec Rex) Hardcover – February 7, 2012


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The Secret of Ashona (Erec Rex) + The Three Furies (Erec Rex) + The Search for Truth (Erec Rex)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Series: Erec Rex (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416979921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416979920
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kaza Kingsley is a writer, artist, and singer who loves travel and adventure, especially in dangerous and mystical realms. Kaza is also a movie buff and reads constantly when she’s not writing books. When she is not off exploring, she can be found in Cincinnati with her loving family...although she may be dreaming of the stars.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER ONE
Tarvos the Great


TWO SNAILS SAT ON THE KITCHEN TABLE. Their eyes drifted back and forth on their long stalks, tracking a teenage boy as he paced the room. From the snails’ perspective, the tall fourteen-year-old looked quite normal—although his dark hair was straight in front and wildly curly in the back.

But normal was the last thing Erec Rex felt like.

Normal kids would not have dragon eyes that let them see into the future.

Normal kids would not be forced to become king of a magical land.

Normal kids would not have to do twelve ridiculously dangerous quests to become king.

Erec sighed. Weird or not, it was his life. He could live with that. But what was hard to live with right now was doing absolutely nothing. Normal kids would be having fun in the summertime. Erec had been sitting around for over a month reading books and staring at the walls. He didn’t want to go on a quest again—there was no mistaking that. But he had to do something. Instead, he was pacing this dingy apartment kitchen, stretching out the time before he opened the letters that the two snails had brought him. Once he finished reading them, it would be back to complete boredom again.

Normal kids, Erec thought, would at least be able to hang out with their friends. But all of his friends were far away in another world, and he was stuck here alone.

Well, he wasn’t exactly alone, and he wasn’t exactly doing nothing. He was babysitting, as usual, for his younger siblings—red-haired Trevor and little Zoey. It basically amounted to reading to Zoey and watching her play house. His sister Nell had found a friend in a nearby apartment and she hung out there all the time, and their adoptive mother, June, was working. Erec didn’t know anybody around here, but at first that hadn’t bothered him at all. The idea of a little rest time with the family sounded great. Peace and quiet. But he soon realized that doing nothing but babysitting for weeks felt like being chained to a couch watching maternity channel reruns.

He paced some more, watching the two message-carrying snails watch him back. They eyed him impatiently until, finally, Erec grabbed the one on the left and pulled a letter out of its thin shell.

Dear Erec,

Ashona is amazing! Every day that I’m here I keep finding secret passages, ancient spell books, and other incredible surprises. Queen Posey gave me a master key, and yesterday I discovered a huge room filled with buried sea treasure that had been dug up and brought from all over the world’s oceans! I can’t wait until you see this place.

What are your plans? I still haven’t gotten a letter from you—write me back!

Love, Bethany

Without thinking, Erec crushed the letter into a tight ball. It wasn’t fair! He understood why June wanted them to stay in New Jersey, hoping to give Trevor, Nell, and Zoey something close to a normal life. But how could New Jersey hold a candle to the undersea world of Ashona? Bethany was Erec’s best friend in the world, and she was there with his father, the King of Alypium. King Piter’s powers were gone, and for safety he had to stay close to his sister, Queen Posey, who ruled Ashona. Alypium, the land where magic was still real, was where Erec was destined to become king, and it was out there waiting for him. Bethany was probably having the time of her life in Ashona, and Erec was here . . . stuck.

He stared a while at the Love in “Love, Bethany,” trying not to think about exactly what that meant. Bethany had become close to a girlfriend . . . more than just a friend, but it was hard to know exactly where they stood. He should be glad she was having fun . . . but he couldn’t help being jealous. He also knew that he should write her back. But what could he say? Hey, that’s cool about the buried treasure. I’ve been reading How Are You, Mr. Schmoo? to Zoey twenty times in a row. Sounds like we’re both having a blast!

He would have to wait on that letter back to Bethany.

Plus, he already knew what she would say. She would tell him to get on with his next quest—the seventh out of twelve that he had to finish to become the next King of Alypium. Once he was ready, his mother would find a way to let him go. Nell would have to babysit, and Erec could leave here and start his next adventure.

The only problem was, he didn’t want to do any more quests at all. He had almost lost his life in the last one. Actually, he had lost his life to the three Furies—huge, all-powerful creatures that had taken his soul to escape their prison. But through some ancient magic, dragon’s blood, and a grateful cat, he was brought back to life again. After that, who could blame him for his lack of desire to do any more quests again—ever?

He wondered if his mother would let him go to Ashona just to have fun instead of doing his next quest. But he could imagine the look on her face and the firm no.

Something moved in the family room, jolting Erec out of his thoughts. He walked in and peered around with interest even though he had barely seen the thing. It was gone, but Erec was suddenly alert. It almost felt like nothing else mattered. But then the feeling passed as quickly as it had come on.

He tried to shake off his strange reaction. Maybe his mind was playing tricks on him after all these weeks of boredom. He picked up the other snail and took the letter out. Just then Trevor bounded into the kitchen. “Snail mail?”

Erec smiled. Even though Trevor did not talk a lot, he was a brilliant kid. But before Erec could answer, he was distracted again by something moving in the family room. Curiosity overwhelmed him this time, and he took off running into the room, nearly tripping over a kitchen chair. What could it be in there? He searched, grabbing cushions and looking under the couch. All through him there was a sharp need to find . . . what was it that he was looking for?

The feeling wore off, but left him confused. What was wrong with him? Was he paranoid?

Trevor stared at him and Erec felt his face turn red. He picked up the other snail mail, pretending nothing had happened.

To: Erec Rex

This letter is to inform you that the three new kings, Balor, Damon, and Dollick Stain, have completed their twelve quests. They will be crowned on June 25. At that time we will need all three of the royal scepters for their use. King Pluto’s scepter is in our possession and Queen Posey’s will be soon. We request that you immediately return King Piter’s scepter to President Inkle at the Green House. If you do not do this in the next three days, we will be forced to send the armies of Alypium and Aorth to track you down.

Rest assured, when you return the scepter to us, you will leave here unharmed. The Shadow Prince no longer has a need for you, and he wishes you all the best. Thank you, and have a great summer!

Signed

Scruffymat, the Secretary of Preplanning of Protocol Development The snail cocked one of its elongated eyes at Erec, watching his stunned reaction.

The Stain triplets were going to be crowned kings? If Balor, Damon, and Dollick became the next rulers of the Kingdoms of the Keepers, they would hand their scepters to Baskania, the evil Shadow Prince, who would destroy the world with them. Well, Erec had one of the three scepters, anyway, and there was no way he was giving it up even if Baskania did send the armies of Alypium and Aorth after him.

His heart sank. If he wasn’t going to do the quests to become the next king, then what did he think was going to happen? He was the one who was supposed to rule. But how could he risk losing his life again doing another quest? The next time he might not get it back. He just wished there was another way to stop the Stain triplets from becoming king. Maybe if he used his scepter somehow . . .

The thought of his scepter brought back memories so intense that Erec had to close his eyes. Visions of the golden staff filled his mind. He could feel its electricity surging through him as if it were in his hands right now. He fought against his cravings for the thing by putting things in perspective. He really wasn’t ready for it—it was far too powerful. Only after he completed all of his quests would he have the strength to use it without falling under its influence. That was why he had sent it away—

Something moved again in the family room. What was running around in there? He had to get it this time, whatever it was. He darted forward as if he were hypnotized, stalking back and forth like a panther searching for its prey. There was a flash of white—he dove and grabbed it . . . but it was just a blanket.

Erec hugged it to his chest, annoyed. Where did the thing go? What was it? And why was it driving him so crazy? Frustrated, he threw the blanket onto the couch.

Trevor stared at him in shock. “What’s wrong with you?”

“I don’t know. Didn’t you see that thing . . . ?” Erec gestured around the room, but Trevor shook his head. “I guess I need more sleep—”

But just then, the thing moved again, right behind Trevor. Erec dove, compelled to grab it—

And tackled his younger brother. Whatever it was was gone again.

“Man, I’m so sorry, Trev. You okay?” Erec dusted himself off and pulled his brother up.

Trevor stared at him with wide eyes and nodded.

“Something weird is in here,” Erec said. “You better stand back while I look for it.” He searched under the coffee table and by the front door. Nothing was there. . . .

Suddenly, the entire world froze. A tiny man in white raced from under the couch,...

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
I hope a 6th book is going to come out.
Kimberly S House
Some parts of the stories may bother younger readers, though Kaza doesn't dwell on either blood or gore, or death, for that matter.
Old Timer Too
I recommend this book to any Erec Rex fans.
My Kindle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Old Timer Too on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished rereading the first two books in their kindle edition and then books three and four as hardbound copies. Book two remains the weakest of the series and as of now, book five is the strongest. It was the first to elicit an emotional response from me and for a young adult series, that's unusual. I'm somewhat of a romantic at heart and toward the end, I felt a certain "rush" (it is really hard to explain) as I read two sequences.

The story is fast-paced with more challenges and quests for Erec to overcome. I was a bit bothered by the developing "romance" between Erec and Bethany and felt it a bit rushed since not a lot of time has passed since we were first introduced to Erec in the first book. Unlike the Harry Potter books, which advance a year with each installment, the Erec Rex series doesn't do that. The stories are centered around Erec's Herculean quests, which leads him into death. Some parts of the stories may bother younger readers, though Kaza doesn't dwell on either blood or gore, or death, for that matter. This is a fantasy world, complete with ghosts (friendly ones at that) as well as some very nasty creatures.

Erec's quests keep getting harder, or more challenging to his resolve. Each quest brings out a new quality in the young prince as he searches for his siblings and mother.

Without a doubt, Kaza has done a lot of research into our mythology, giving them a twist that hopefully will have young readers chasing down the stories behind the various locales and legends of the ancient world.

I'm looking forward to the next installment (there are eight books in the series) and the twists and turns that Kaza so lovingly has us wander through.

I rated this as five stars, mostly because it is a very strong four-plus stars and rounding it up was natural for a great addition to this wonderful series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Young on February 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
YES! I am so happy that there is a new Erec Rex. I preordered this in October and this was great. Probably the best Erec Rex yet. It stinks that we have to wait two years again for a new one though. think you should definitely buy this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By matthew441 on March 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
How does Kingsley do it?!?!?! This time Erec finds out he has almost no soul and has to get his soul back with the help of friend that is a ghost. Erec finds himself in some of the biggest dillemas yet!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chelsea on January 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I hate to give this book a 2 star rating. I think the series is great but this book fell flat for me. I couldn't get enough of the other 4 books and read them all within a week. But with this book it is just different. It's been a week and I am barely halfway through. It just seems to drag on and on about the same old things. The main character has been reckless and annoying in the past but in this book he is even more so. One thing I can't understand is why he won't ever accept help from other people. I mean, these people care for him and want to help. But he constantly sneaks off and does things his own way with no regard on how it makes others feels. It like he just does care and is a mindless puppet of the Fates. He doesn't think twice about the choices he makes or how it will affect others. He just dives in head first. I can't stand it. And in all honesty, this book has an overall depressing feel to it. Everything seems so sad,gloomy, and hopeless and even through things work out within a few pages it's right back to being sad and hopeless. It kind of reminds me of the Harry potter book 4. I loved books 1-3 and couldn't get enough of them and the came book 4 and everything took a much darker turn and I couldn't understand why..... Well. I just really hope this book is just a bump in the road and thing setback on track with book 6.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Graysen Quinlan on April 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Kaza Kingsley, this book changed my life, everyday before this book i always was down on my self and i didnt know y but when i read ur book i became erec rex i was brave couragous and i want down on myself, because of u i look at life differently, so thank u very much , ill never forget this book and im only 12 so thank u
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
kids love this series
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By tounarom on December 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
good book, good ready, love the series, my kids even liked the book, i would recommend this book to anyone
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By ProfessorVonZZ on November 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Wow,quite a book with twisting topics, dangerous quests, and a seemingly betrayel for the fates. Spartucus returns and Eric has a change of heart for The "Great" Shadow Prince. Will Baskania get the sceptor of Alpiyum? /I know I didn' spell it right and sorry and can Eric change fate before it is to late, or will he go along with destiny? The best book in the series will leave you aching for more so shall you buy the book, for that is your destiny. Unless you want to go to Al's well yourself.
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