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Spirit Animals: Book 3: Blood Ties Hardcover – March 25, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews
Book 3 of 7 in the Spirit Animals Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 1–3—In the third installment of this multiplatform fantasy adventure series, Nix and Williams team up to tell the story of Meilin and Jhi, her panda spirit animal, as they help her father defend her homeland of Zhong.

From Booklist

After being separated in the tumultuous ending of the second book in the Spirit Animal series, the four Greencloaks and their Spirit Animals reunite and begin to finally work together, exploring their powers as they continue to fight the Conquerors’ ever-growing forces. These authors, at the top of their games, offer an exciting narrative and place readers one step closer to an inevitably epic conclusion. Grades 4-7. --Bethany Fort
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: Spirit Animals (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (March 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545522455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545522458
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Synopsis (May contain some light spoilers for earlier books in the series): Meilen has run away from the Greencloaks to search for her father in her homeland of Zhong. Conor, Abeke, and Rollan quickly follow - they hope to recover their friend and get the Slate Elephant talisman from Dinesh, the Great Elephant. But Zhong has been conquered, so the kids must fight through armies of enemies to find what they seek. The Devourer is gaining power, and he will stop at nothing to take over all of Erdas with his nature-defiling bile.

My thoughts: Another great installment of the series. And they just keep getting better and better! (Not, of course, because the authors are changing, but because the plot and characters are developing as the series progresses.) Like in the earlier books, Blood Ties shows the power friendship - of working with your team rather than trying to fight evil alone. It encourages trust - of your partners, your friends, and the power of Good to conquer Evil. Most of all, the story is fun. It's a delight to watch as the kids' distinct characters develop, and how each character adds to the dynamics of the team. The world-building is also a lot of fun - it has both a familiar and a novel taste. For instance, Zhong is the Erdas-equivalent of Asia. The comparison is undeniable, and yet Zhong's culture and scenery are also delightfully unique. And, of course, this book is filled with adventures, intrigue, and battles - which any lover of middle grade fantasy / adventure books craves. I'm looking forward to the release of the next book in the series, Fire and Ice, in July.
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Format: Hardcover
(slight spoilers from older books in the series)
After giving up the last talisman, the crew must forgive each other, come together, and move on. With the Conquerors right on their tail, Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan are in a race to find the next talisman. They are continuing to build their skills and their bonds with their spirit animals while becoming a strong team. Meilin and her home are featured in this installment.

This book continues the series nicely. It follows a similar style even though they are all written by different authors. There is character building, foreshadowing, some new characters introduced, and the ultimate fight scene at the end. I loved the first book in the series. It took me a bit to get into the second, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. This one didn't have quite the same captivating charm, but it is still a good addition to the series. I am sure that the many kids that love the series will devour this one and be eagerly awaiting the next. Hopefully I will be drawn into the next one a bit more than I was this one.

Free ARC provided from Scholastic through NetGalley for an honest review
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have kids in your world - this series is a must read. The characters are well constructed, and themes easily understood. I have not accessed the on line components, but my young friends have and rave about it. If you like to keep up with what the kids are reading, include this series. Book 3 is about the next goal to achieve the "totems."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This series is developing like episodes of a cartoon series. Although the stories are fun and interesting, with some good twists and turns, easy to read writing style, after some time you will get a little bored as you really want some major development in the story. Every time the heroes go in a journey to get a talisman of a spirit animals to faraway lands, land from one trouble to another and so on and so forth. The best parts are the of course the action packed fighting ones which are quite nicely described. I would recommend this book to children below 15 years of age looking for a good read although anyone can read these as the books are quite fun.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These Spirit Animals books get better and better! This third installment was chock full of exciting action sequences and palpable danger. We also see a lot more character development, especially as Meilin struggles to understand her place with the Greencloaks. I enjoyed seeing her relationship with Jhi, her spirit animal panda, strengthen. After two books of wanting to throttle Meilin, it was a nice change of pace for her to finally get real.

In this third book of the multi-author Spirit Animals series, the Conquerers are devouring whole cities in their quest to disrupt and control the bond between animals and humans. Concerned for her homeland, Meilin has left the others to find her father and fight the enemy. But Meilin soon finds that she's not the only one sneaking into the country.

The story takes place largely in the country of Zhong, a pseudo Asia. Nix and Williams fill the book's locations with rich details. Over the course of Blood Ties we visit a massive bamboo maze, a swamp teeming with enraged crocodiles, and a lake surrounded by high cliffs. This is the first of the Spirit Animals books that really showed me the world of Erdas.

I was also glad to see a stronger focus on the overall problem of the series, the Devourer's quest to conquer Erdas. Those enormous crazy-eyed crocodiles were terrifying!

In my review of Book 2, I had to write a qualification about how multi-author series often water down the elements that make an author's writing style unique. However, that was not true in Blood Ties. I love Garth Nix's other books, such as Shade's Children and Sabriel, for his marvelous world-building. He and Williams pulled off a great world in this book too. Cheers!
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