‘If your uncle dies now – if he simply stops breathing – you will assume great power. You’ll be the leader of Quentaris…’
‘I get the feeling that you haven’t finished that sentence,’ Florian said.
‘Indeed. But if you take that power, your grip will be that much stronger. The prophecies are very clear, my friend. If he dies, you simply oversee. But if you act now, you rule!’
When the Archon dies – helped along by his nephew – and the horrid Florian claims the throne, things look grim for Quentaris. The Magicians Guild is broken up and Tab finds herself working at the City Farm – until Quentaris slips through yet another vortex and she and her friends suddenly realise they are the city’s only hope.
The Gimlet Eye is the third story in the second Quentaris series, Quest of the Lost City. Like every story in the series, it is full of intrigue, mystery, plots and betrayals – with a familiar cast of characters (both goodies and baddies). Each instalment in the series is the work of a different Australian author, with this one authored by the award-winning James Roy.
An outstanding addition to an already outstanding series.
The Gimlet Eye, by James Roy
Ford Street, 2009
This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
‘Sneakiest way of moving in an army I ever seen,’ Vrod grunted.
Tab looked up, alarmed. The sky-traders seemed so friendly, and the council so keen to trade that she had automatically taken them at their word. No wonder Verris had handed over the negotiations and the organising to others! Lord Verris wanted to keep his hands free to take care of a much bigger problem.
When Quentaris is approached by another sky-city keen to do trade, it seems too good to be true. The visiting traders offer food and fine gems and seem to want little in return apart from the chance to learn Quentaran games. But Tab Vidler is uneasy. She can’t use her special powers any more, and when she meets a mysterious animal – an equen – she wonders if it can really hold the key to healing the sick. Is Quentaris is danger?
The Equen Queen is the second title of the new Quentaris: Quest of the Lost City series. The series, from Ford Street Publishers, is set in the city of Qentaris, which has come adrift and is floating through uncharted rifts, taking its inhabitants on gripping adventures . Each story in the series is written by a different author, and is self contained, though those who have read the first in the series as well as the earlier Quentaris series will be at an advantage.
The Equen Queen is a gripping fantasy read for upper primary and lower secondary aged readers.
The Equen Queen, by Alyssa Brugman
Ford Street, 2008
Nisha sent her ball of fire into the dark gap. She took a sharp breath and coughed when the shadows disappeared. The magical light revealed a large statue, snugly fitting into the cave.
The statue was of two mighty warriors in elaborate armour, standing on a raised oval platform. They faced each other with swords raised and shields ready, as if frozen in the middle of combat. One of the figures was golden and glittered like the sun. The other was silver, with a sheen like a wintry full moon.
When Nisha and her friends unearth a mysterious statue under the Old Tree Guesthouse, they little expect to meet the two warriors who are immortalised in the statue. But soon the pair turn up at the Guesthouse, each eager to claim ownership of the statue, and each prepared to fight fiercely to defeat the other.
If only the battle were just between the warriors. Instead, each uses mysterious powers to draw support from the citizens of Quentaris. Soon the city is divided into two sides, with friend against friend and neighbour against neighbour. The city could be ruined by the battle, unless Nisha can use her magic to find a resolution.
Battle for Quentaris is the final in the Quentaris Chronicles series from Lothian books, and like its predecessors is a gripping fantasy offering for young readers. One of the special appeals of this series is that each title stands alone, so that a reader new to the series could read this final title and not be disadvantaged. Having said that, those who have read earlier titles will enjoy seeing some familiar faces in this offering.
Exciting fantasy for readers aged 10 and over.
Battle for Quentaris, by Michael Pryor
This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
Rad held his breath as a squad of tall humanoids passed by within yards of his hiding place. Vampires. The creatures had long, flowing hair, inhuman faces with jaws like those of snakes and jutting razor-sharp fangs. They were exquisitely dressed in black and maroon garments. Cloaks with strange hieroglyphs inscribed upon them hung from their shoulders as they strode purposefully down a trail. Their elegance seemed incongruous in this underworld.
When Rad de La’rel returns from a trip into the rift caves, he is shocked to find Quentaris unguarded. Quentaris is at war with neighbouring Tolrush, and every able-bodied fighter has gone. Taking advantage of the lack of security, vampires have come through the rift cave and are ready to take control of the city. Rad must fight this scourge, but he can’t do it alone and willing helpers are hard to find in the face of such a formidable foe.
Vampires of Quentaris is one of the final two titles in the Quentaris Chronicles series produced by Lothian books. The city of Quentaris is built near rift caves which open into countless worlds, and make Quentaris both a place of adventure and the site of diverse troubles. The arrival of vampires in the city makes for an exciting adventure which young fantasy fans will enjoy.
Vampires of Quentaris, by Paul Collins
This book can be purchased online from Fishpond.. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
Reviewed by Jess Whiting
Crocodile Sal had her work cut out for her. Her prac exam, Deceit and Daring 101, was proving to be more difficult then she could ever have imagined. It had seemed so straightforward when she was given the paper. Get a legitimate job and stay in it for at least three months. During this time, steal something really valuable and use it in a successful, diabolical crime.
Crocodile Sal is an apprentice thief. She has been trying hard to pass her latest exam and prove herself to the thieves Guild. But when Sal stumbles across Waldo Pritlock, an actor, she finds herself putting her skills to the ultimate test.
Waldo claims to be the true Prince Timaris of Hadran. Sal embarks on a difficult journey to find out the truth behind the mystery of the Forgotten Prince.
The Forgotten Prince is an exciting novel for fantasy lovers ages 10 and up. Another story based in the world of Quentaris, filled with adventure, mystery and great characters. Not the most descriptive book, but it makes up for it with an irresistible story line.
A thrilling plot
The Forgotten Prince, by Paul Collins
Kiall wanted to race to the Halls of Justice and demand they let his father go. Didn’t they know who he was? He was the famous Paolo Tigran, the rift adventurer who’d made his fortune by finding a sapphire mine and bringing back the finest gems that Quentaris had ever seen. And now he was one of the most astute merchants in the city, with a fleet of his own ships. Or he had been, until a series of misfortunes had decimated the fleet.
When their father is thrown into jail by his creditors, Kiall and Maya are determined to find a way to pay his debts and have him freed. But the family fortune is gone, lost in a series of unexplained mishaps, and nobody is willing to help them. Kiall wants to go into the Rift caves to search for treasure, and, unable to afford a guide, he sneaks aboard a pirate ship. Together with Maya, who has followed him aboard, he is destined for adventures far beyond anything he could have imagined.
Pirates of Quentaris is a gripping fantasy novel for readers aged ten and up, set in the fantasy world of Quentaris, the setting for a series of stand-alone novels each written by a different Australian author. Here Sherryl Clark weaves a frightening but compelling tale which keeps the reader guessing and turning pages. Kiall and Maya find themselves enslaved by a crew of pirates who cruise the desert on a ship with massive wheels, murdering and plundering wherever they can. The children must use their wits, coupled with a little luck, to escape, but not before some scary events including a beheading and an attack by a sabre tooth cat.
A gripping read.
Pirates of Quentaris, by Sherryl Clark
Eely has spent most of her life being unnoticed. Damaged at birth, she is simple and unattractive, and people seem to ignore her. But when Eely finds a winged man lying injured and helpless in a cave, she finds the strength to save him.
In the weeks that follow, Eely tends to the injured stranger, who in turn develops her self-confidence. Those around her can see Eely changing and growing more beautiful, but could it be that she actually holds within her the secret of beauty?
Angel Fever is just one of the wonderful titles in the innovative Quentaris Chronicles series. Each book in the series stands alone, but all are set in the magical fantasy city of Quentaris. The series, overseen by creators Michael Pryor and Paul Collins, is written by a number of Australia’s finest authors.
Angel Fever is a lovely tale. Author Isobelle Carmody creates a story which will draw young readers in, eager to learn what will happen to the ‘angel’ and where his missing stone will turn up. The message of the story, that beauty is not just about appearances, is subtle and not over-stated.
Recommended for young fantasy fans aged 10 to 14, this is excellent reading.
Angel Fever, by Isobelle Carmody
The Chief soothsayer of Quentaris has prophesied a disaster: “I see a disc of changing colours, passing from hand to hand. I see murder, misery and mayhem.” Some scoff at the Soothsayer’s words, but elsewhere in the city, young diver Junko Pardner has just found a strange disc in the pouch of his diving suit.
Junko needs money, and is determined to sell the disc in the market. But the market is full of fighting Blues and Greens, and in the hustle and bustle, the disc is lost.
In the market a young fighter picks up a shiny disc and suddenly finds himself unbeatable. When he loses it, the young thief who pockets it finds herself a brilliant cheat. The mysterious disc continues its journey through the city, pursued by those who have heard about it and want it. Where will it end up?
The Revognase is a title in the Quentaris Chronicles, a series set in the one magical city but written by different authors. This interesting concept seems set to pay off, with the difference in authors producing different views of the same place.
The Revognase is likely appeal both to fantasy fans and to new readers of the genre. Great reading.
The Revognase, by Lucy Sussex
In Quentaris, the mystical city, young Tab Vidler lives the orphan’s life, sweeping the streets and hefting dung, as amember of the dung brigade. But Tab has dreams. In her spare moments she sneaks off to the playhouses of the city, secretly watching rehearsals and dreaming of the lives portrayed on the stage.
A chance meeting with a stranger, Azt Marossa, is the start of a strange chain of events. Soon, Tab finds herself helping him to escape from the Archon’s guards and avoid the sword fighters of the opposing Duelph and Nibhellin factions.
Marossa has her posing as the rightful heir to the throne of Quentaris, the missing child of the Perfect princess, who fled Quentaris long ago.
Will Azt change her life?
The Perfect Princess is one of the innovative Quentaris Chronicles. This series is unusual in that each title is written by a different author.
The Perfect Princess is an exciting, well written fantasy, which will satisfy those already fans of the genre, but will also cater for youngsters who may be new to fantsay. A great read.
The Perfect Princess, by Jenny Pausacker