Of all the YA/Children’s fantasy I’ve ever read, this book goes somewhere near the top, (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and The Olympians, and His Dark Materials being the other ones up there). You knew when you start reading a new book and only a few pages in you know you’re going to like it? That’s how I felt while reading this one.
Five year old Ian Wigby, an orphan living at Delphi Keep, cannot fall asleep. There’s a storm outside and he thinks he sees someone outside. Sure enough, a man brings a little girl to the orphanage. The girl was found wandering alone in the storm, apparently abandoned by her mother. As “punishment” for being out of bed after bedtime, Ian is given the responsibility of caring for the girl as an older brother, who he names Theo. Years later, while Ian and Theo are exploring the caves near the Keep, they discover a new cave. This new cavern is full of many mysteries, including ancient Greek writing on the walls, a silver box with something locked inside, and a dangerous beast. But these discoveries are only the beginning of a much bigger adventure that the kids will find themselves embroiled with nothing less than the fate of the world at stake.
Interestingly, there are some similarities between story lines in this series and the Percy Jackson series. Specifically, in its use of Greek mythology. Either way, it’s well written (save for the occasional, slightly awkward dialogue) and exciting. It takes a long time before the particular details and magic really come to life and yet I didn’t find myself bored or irritated by it. Laurie sets up a world within the orphanage that is so well defined and captivating, that the larger story’s absence isn’t missed. Though it is certainly welcome once revealed of course.
Sadly, the next book in the series will not be out until August. But on the upside, the author seems to only take about a year to write a book so there isn’t much waiting time from book to book.
Buy the book: Oracles of Delphi Keep