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The Secrets of Hexbridge Castle Hardcover – October 25, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—The mundane reality of English schoolboy Alfie Bloom's life ends when he is swept into his destiny, which involves time travel, dragons, and mysteries. After Alfie accidentally time-travels during a near-death experience, he discovers that he has inherited the fantastical Hexbridge castle from an ancient druid named Orin Hopcraft. Alfie had been born to modern parents who were brought backward in time so that Alfie could be born and become the keeper of a particular magical power in order to protect it from a corrupted druid named Agrodonn. Alfie wants to learn more about the magic, his inheritance, and the creature that appears to be menacing the town. He finds support among family and friends, letters left from Orin, and a flying bear rug named Artan with a taste for bad jokes. The broadly drawn evil headmistresses of his new school, Wyrmwald, are cruel disciplinarians with a taste for outlandish punishments, and they try to sneak into Hexbridge Castle for obviously nefarious purposes. This is a fast-paced mystery that draws upon tropes of Western fantasy and may appeal to many readers, though it lacks the depth and gravity that can often be found in more ambitious middle grade fantasy novels. VERDICT A fun but optional addition to middle grade fantasy collections.—Kyle Lukoff, Corlears School, New York City
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