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The Morrigan's Curse (Eighth Day) Paperback – January 24, 2017
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“Combining modern intrigue and ancient magic, this second volume in what continues to be an inspired series does not disappoint. Jax is an endearing mix of heroic and awkward as he struggles with his new identity. An exciting blend of Arthurian legend and organized crime.” (Kirkus (on The Inquisitor's Mark))
“Blending Arthurian legend with action-packed adventure, the second in the Eighth Day series answers some questions but leaves plenty dangling for the next book.” (ALA Booklist (on The Inquisitor's Mark))
“The concept and the characters are strong, and should continue to entertain its audience who will now eagerly await book three.” (School Library Journal (on The Inquisitor's Mark))
“Ancient magic pairs nicely with modern intrigue. Complicated alliances and ruthless villains keep the pages turning. A promising start to a new trilogy.” (Kirkus (on The Eighth Day))
“Fascinating…Melds Arthurian legend into present day. Fast paced and exciting.” (School Library Journal (on The Eighth Day))
“[A] fast-paced, magical adventure. An unparalleled mix of evil villains, humor, and background that set this up for a likeable trilogy to be recommended for fans of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. Absolutely necessary for middle grades.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (on The Eighth Day))
“Suspense, stakes, and action. Enormously satisfying.” (The Nerdy Book Club blog (on The Eighth Day))
About the Author
Dianne K. Salerni attended the University of Delaware, where she earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education, and then went on to earn a master's in language arts education at the University of Pennsylvania. She was an elementary school teacher for over twenty years and has also written several books, including We Hear the Dead and The Caged Graves. The Inquisitor's Mark is the second book in the Eighth Day series. Although Dianne knows there's not really such a thing as a secret Eighth Day, discovering one would explain all the food that disappears in her house. Until then, she'll continue to blame her husband, Bob, her two teenage daughters, Gabrielle and Gina, and her dog, Sorcia. Dianne lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
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Top Customer Reviews
Not only does this book... and this series... abound with adventure, intrigue and a smattering of history and humor, but it also reveals something about human nature. Even if those humans DO belong to families with indelible ties to the days of King Arthur, and have magical abilities that boggle the mind. Some are just as plagued with greed, jealousy, and a thirst for power as many mere mortals. Others also embody honor, kindness, and self-sacrifice. Will some of them continue to be trapped in the Eighth Day... or will the Eighth Day cease to exist, and their destructive powers be unleashed on the unsuspecting world? Its fate, and the fate of the world, may depend on a single young girl. Is she capable of making the right decision? Will she?
And after the big battle, is this the end of it? For our sake, let's hope not. Let's hope there will be many more books to come in this series. Highly recommended to young readers. And, um, old readers, too. Like me.
There are several reasons for this. For one, Salerni has introduced a truly despicable set of villains, magical families with the twisted souls of crime lords; you really believe that these people are capable of atrocities. In this respect, the book is somewhat more "realistic" than the first two; when the evil Kin families set fire to houses where unsuspecting Normals are sleeping or brew storms that knock airplanes out of the sky, the magic echoes real-life acts of violence and terror. By the same token, the book is more mature than its predecessors; though I had no qualms about my 12-year-old reading it, I recognized that he was reading a book we might need to discuss afterward. (The Morrigan herself, an incarnation of chaos who takes the body of a young girl as one of her manifestations, was scary as heck.) Finally, and related to my previous points, the book has an even greater sense of urgency, risk, and danger than the previous two installments; the rising tide of clan warfare that sweeps up young protagonist Jax forces him to make truly momentous and wrenching decisions, and it's not always clear whether he's going to survive unscathed. Taken together, these qualities make the book perfect for readers on the verge of their teen years, when they're going to have to confront difficult choices and grapple with the nature of evil.
But all of this powerful stuff wouldn't work if Salerni wasn't also a great storyteller, who keeps the action moving, the twists coming, and the pages turning. Where I found the first two books a bit slow at the start as the author set up her magical scenario (book 1) and reminded us of it (book 2), in this third book the story barrels along at breakneck speed, never relenting in its drive for the finish. It's a brilliant conclusion to a brilliantly conceived and plotted trilogy, and the only thing you'll regret when you're done is that it's the last book in the series.
Bottom line: this is one of the best MG fantasy books (and series) I've read. I really can't recommend it highly enough. The Morrigan rules!