Jason imagined his future on the varsity baseball team, not saving a distant world crushed by an evil emperor-wizard! How can a 13 year old guy fall down a hippo's mouth into a medieval realm? Or be spied on by a book bound in living skin, with a human eyeball watching him from its cover? Or be chosen to travel far and wide in this strange land, this alternate universe, on a quest to find all the syllables of a word that would destroy the evil emperor? Or survive as a Beyonder when the emperor has spies and allies and armies chasing him?
Fortunately, Rachel followed an amazing butterfly through a rock arch in the Utah desert and wound up in evil Maldor’s realm, too. Together, these American teenagers from Beyond must journey throughout the empire to gather the magic syllables, starting with just one vague clue. Manglers and other monsters pursue them, snakes that talk and a titan crab. They meet the Blind King, who can see their path clearly, and a dissembler, who can take off his arms or head and just leave the pieces somewhere until he needs them (very useful when chained up by the emperor’s soldiers).
The perils grow more dangerous, the swamps and jungles and wilderness more treacherous, as their desire to free this land from Maldor becomes stronger as with each challenge they overcome, each puzzle they master. Who can Jason and Rachel trust? Can they find the entire magic word which will unmake Maldor? Can they ever find their way home again?
Is this truly a world without heroes? Find out for yourself in this first volume of a stunning new fantasy series by Brandon Mull.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA
Jason never dreamed that he could reach another world by falling into a hippo’s mouth, but that’s exactly what happened when he was volunteering at the zoo. Suddenly, he finds himself in Lyrian, a strange, unfamiliar world ruled by an evil wizard emperor, Maldor. While searching for a way home, Jason finds himself caught up in the quest to find the magical word that can kill Maldor, along with Rachel, another person who has traveled from our Earth to Lyrian. In a world without heroes, can Jason and Rachel find all the pieces of the Word and make their way home?
Recommended by Sarah Loch, Librarian