- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 790 (What's this?)
- Series: The Adventurers Guild
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (October 3, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 148478801X
- ISBN-13: 978-1484788011
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Adventurers Guild Hardcover – October 3, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Ever since the Day of Dangers, when the land of Ferryn was attacked by monsters, the city of Freestone has been protected by wards of the Adventurers Guild. Zed and his friend Brock are anxious for the Guildculling, when those who have come of age will be assigned to one of the Guilds. Zed, who is an elf-blooded boy, hopes to be chosen as a Mage. Brock, whose parents are members of the Merchants Guild, expects to become a Merchant as well. Neither of them wants to be a Knight or a Healer—and certainly not an Adventurer, the most dangerous job of all. But both find themselves chosen by the Adventurers Guild; Zed snatched from the Mages, and Brock pressed into spying for the Merchants. Along with Jett and Liza, their fellow apprentices, they face a daunting initiation: they must survive the night outside the protected city walls. The initiation turns dangerous when monsters attack and Jett is paralyzed, while Zed discovers he possesses an innate ability to sense and use magic—and forbidden magic, at that. As the Adventurers' wards begin to fail, the apprentices must uncover the traitor and save their city. This first installment in a new series offers a solidly constructed world, endearing characters, and lots of fantasy-based adventure with fast-paced action. VERDICT Hand this to fans of Angie Sage's "Septimus Heap" and Brandon Mull's "Fablehaven" series; the ending will leave readers anxious for the sequel.—Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Brighton District Library, Brighton, MI
"Clark and Eliopulos... establish a strong core of interesting male and female characters and thrust them into action, while setting up relationships, conflicts, and mysteries to explore in later volumes. With its quick pace and likable heroes, this fantasy adventure will readily find a following."―Booklist
"Fast-paced adventure. The diverse group of friends... works solidly as a team, but secrets and divided loyalties create enough tension to keep things interesting...A cliffhanger of an ending sets up a larger conflict for the next volume, and readers will be eager to join the guild for their further adventures."―BCCB
*"This tale is a page-turner that has the perfect mix of suspense, Princess Bride humor, and engaging characters, one that's definitely earned the sequel to come. A dazzling adventure sure to become a classic, if not a movie."―Kirkus, starred review
"The Adventurers Guild stands out within the fantasy genre, displaying a wonderfully diverse cast of characters... Simply great fun to read... A rough-and-tumble adventure story with monsters, intrigue and a heart of gold."―Shelf Awareness
"If you're someone who likes a thrilling adventure with a surprise on every page, this book is for you."―Time for Kids
"A solidly constructed world, endearing characters, and lots of fantasy-based adventure with fast-paced action."―School Library Journal
"Hazards, betrayals, and quick-witted banter abound in this gripping series opener... Clark and Eliopulos weave a thread of post-apocalyptic adventure into a classic questing saga, replete with spells, enchanted weaponry, and mythological beings--elves, kobolds, gelatinous goo, and more."―Publishers Weekly
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On the annual culling day, Zed is equal parts terrified and exuberant. As the only son of a member of the Servants Guild, he has never known glory or wealth. Just setting foot into the inner city and all it’s riches and nobility gives him an uneasy feeling, no matter that his best friend is a part of that shiny and glittering world. Zed has looked forward to the day he would be sorted into a guild of his own for years, and not just because it would mean he’s finally growing up into a man and a fair contributor to his household, but because the day held hope. Real hope for something better for himself and for his mother. Real hope for a true sense of belonging.
Growing up without a father, Zed also grew up with a lot of questions. Half-mortal and half-elven and with no one around to help nurture the otherworldly side of him, Zed spent years wondering about the father he never knew who spent his time living outside the city gates in the elven land of Llethanyl. It used to be that the elves frequented the city of Freestone regularly, along with pilgrims from other lands and merchants from the sea. The great lands of far and wide used to mix and mingle, but that was before the Dangers. Elves had not set foot in the city of Freestone in more than 12 years; not since Zed’s mother and father had met and fallen in love.
Sitting in the back of his mind like a fox full of avid curiosity was the one thought that plagued him — Zed wondered if he might be special. If he might have a place in the guilds other than as a servant. If, perhaps . . . he was full of magic, mystery, and the wonders of mana. Full of all the mystical properties that seemed to call to him like the song of a siren.
Brock is Zed’s best friend, regardless of the fact that they come from two different worlds. The son of a successful merchant who helps to cultivate the sales and progression of Freestone’s carefully curated marketplace, Brock has always known his lot in life — to carry on in his father’s illustrious footsteps. And this fate doesn’t bring with it anything other than a quiet peace and contentment for the boy . . . he is fascinated by the inner workings of the vendors and their magical prowesses, and his mind works the way a banker’s should — full of figures and facts. But unfortunately for Brock, all it takes is one exchange with his father and the head of the Merchants Guild, Lord Quilby, and all of Brock’s dreams for the future are tainted like a slash of red across the purely driven snow. Instead of carrying in the family business, Brock is being drafted as a spy . . . and set on a mission to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Adventurers Guild.
The Adventurers Guild has long since been the first line of defense against the Dangers of the world outside the wooden gates that serve as protection from the wild. It’s also notoriously known as a haven for the blackguards, outcasts, rebels, and the general bottom of the barrel of Freestone’s inhabitants. They must accept any who asks to pledge their service, and they also have privileges that no other guild has — they can veritably poach anyone they want, from any guild they have already been sorted into, and they have their sights set on the young half-elven boy who has just found himself in the most advantageous and thrilling position of his young life.
Being swept away from his dreams isn’t easy, and Zed is even more surprised when his best friend Brock joins his ranks in the Adventurers Guild. Led by the impossibly crass and devastatingly wretched Alabasel Frond, the two boys find themselves wrapped up in capers and adventures beyond their wildest estimations, and beyond their physical capabilities most of the time. When they are tasked with the challenge of retrieving a priceless gem hidden deep within the walls of an abandoned and ancient elven temple, Zed and Brock must call upon every ounce of their faith and brains, while taking a blind leap into the great unknown with only the promise of glory to soften their fall.
The Adventurers Guild is the debut novel by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos; both New Yorkers and purveyors of the fantasy-driven Dungeons and Dragons. The novel pulls heavily from the fantasy world, leaning on tried-and-true characters such as elves and magicians, and creating a treasure-hunting quest for the heroes by standards that would make Frodo and Sam proud. The characters are richly imagined and unique in the sense that there are just as many female characters as there are male; Alabasel Frond is in fact the head of the Adventurers Guild and a worthy adversary, and the heroes can’t seem to get along without their female companion Liza, who has Hermione Granger’s wit and Arya Stark’s imposing skill on the battlefield.
The first in a series that is sure to captivate the mid-grade reader’s minds and attitudes, The Adventurers Guild has earned a solid 5 out of 5 stars from me. There are few things I like more in a book than magic, and this novel has it in spades. From the illusionary woman who sells bewitched tokens in her tent to the frightfully delightful blob of a demon sloshing his (or I guess, her?) way around a temple forbidden to humans, The Adventurers Guild gave me all I craved for in a freshly new way. I recommend this book to readers 10+ and hope you’ll enjoy this world full of sorcery and swords as much as I did.
It's set in a world overrun with monsters. A few beleaguered cities, walled and warded by magic, are all that remain. Around them are monster-infested forests. Two kids, Zed and Brock, are about to come of age in one of these cities, and it's time for them to be chosen by one of the city's guilds (if all goes well). Brock's a shoe-in for the Merchants Guild (thanks to his father's position there), but Zed's future is more uncertain. As a half-elf, the only one in the city, he's always been an outsider, but he hopes desperately the Mage's Guild will take him. Neither wants to be chosen by the Adventurers Guild, whose men and women go hunting for monsters outside the city walls, and who don't live awfully long. But it's the Adventures Guild that picks Zed, and Brock, in a moment of when loyalty to his friend overrides sense, volunteers to join them too. With them is Liza, a girl from the leading family of the city, who, though brought up with privilege, is tough as nails, and Jett, a dwarf boy who dreams of being a great craftsman. Though the main characters are boys, Liza gives girls who want to slay monsters a place to hang their hats very nicely too!
The four immediately start their monster hunter training, and just as quickly, things start to go wrong. There are dangers afoot more subtle than the deadly monsters outside the walls, and the four kids are soon trying to figure out just what these are and how to save their city from falling. This is me cleverly avoiding specific plot spoilers--the basic point is that the plot gets more complex and interesting than just slaying techniques and dangers.
It is a bright sort of book, very sensory, with clear sharp pictures in the mind, and characters each with their own flavor, and like I said, I enjoyed it lots. It doesn't exactly break new ground, or take great risks in story or narrative style, which actually added to my enjoyment--I wasn't challenged to do more than just briskly turn the pages, and sometimes that's what I need and want most as a reader! Which is not to say there weren't unexpected twists to the story, and there's interesting backstory of characters and world that provides substance. I am looking forward very much to the next book!