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Across the Dark Water

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Deep in the jungles of the Realm, the Sandwen clan live amongst deadly spit dragons and hordes of warring giants. But with their winged battle horses, they manage to keep their people safe. Twelve-year-old Rahkki is a stable groom for the Riders in the Sandwen army, taking care of his brother’s winged stallion. The Sandwens believe they have tamed all the wild pegasi in th Deep in the jungles of the Realm, the Sandwen clan live amongst deadly spit dragons and hordes of warring giants. But with their winged battle horses, they manage to keep their people safe. Twelve-year-old Rahkki is a stable groom for the Riders in the Sandwen army, taking care of his brother’s winged stallion. The Sandwens believe they have tamed all the wild pegasi in their land, and turned them into flying warhorses. But when a herd of wild steeds flies over their village, Rahkki and his clanmates are stunned. Meanwhile, a small herd of pegasi have journeyed across a treacherous ocean to settle in a new, and free land. Led by Echofrost and Hazelwind, the Storm Herd steeds are unaware of the Sandwen people. But when the unthinkable happens, Echofrost and the rest of Storm Herd will have to come to trust the Sandwens, or both may not survive.


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Deep in the jungles of the Realm, the Sandwen clan live amongst deadly spit dragons and hordes of warring giants. But with their winged battle horses, they manage to keep their people safe. Twelve-year-old Rahkki is a stable groom for the Riders in the Sandwen army, taking care of his brother’s winged stallion. The Sandwens believe they have tamed all the wild pegasi in th Deep in the jungles of the Realm, the Sandwen clan live amongst deadly spit dragons and hordes of warring giants. But with their winged battle horses, they manage to keep their people safe. Twelve-year-old Rahkki is a stable groom for the Riders in the Sandwen army, taking care of his brother’s winged stallion. The Sandwens believe they have tamed all the wild pegasi in their land, and turned them into flying warhorses. But when a herd of wild steeds flies over their village, Rahkki and his clanmates are stunned. Meanwhile, a small herd of pegasi have journeyed across a treacherous ocean to settle in a new, and free land. Led by Echofrost and Hazelwind, the Storm Herd steeds are unaware of the Sandwen people. But when the unthinkable happens, Echofrost and the rest of Storm Herd will have to come to trust the Sandwens, or both may not survive.

30 review for Across the Dark Water

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Dragina

    Oh. My. Goodness. Yes!! This book is soooo good! A must read for those who love Jennifer Alvarez's work!! She is definitely the master in this spell binding tale. Now I must wait for the second one to come out.... *groans* Pegasi forever. 😍 Oh. My. Goodness. Yes!! This book is soooo good! A must read for those who love Jennifer Alvarez's work!! She is definitely the master in this spell binding tale. Now I must wait for the second one to come out.... *groans* Pegasi forever. 😍

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mindee Arnett

    Gorgeously detailed and with heart-wrenching conflict, Across the Dark Water is a breathtaking read sure to please new fans and old. Jennifer Lynn Alvarez’s fantasy world is richly developed with a cast of characters readers will sure to love, both winged and human. I read it as fast as a Pegasus can fly and am already longing for more.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    My 13 year old loved the Warrior Cats books and also Guardian Herd. Here is her review of this new series: I felt that the continuation book to Guardian Herd was rather dull compared to the earlier books. The storyline was too cliche and too easily comprehended. The landscape shared similar issues to the story - not unique enough. The characters were fine but they lacked interesting quirks to give them more personality. The landscape is just a fantasy land with pegasi, dragons,giants,etc. I guess My 13 year old loved the Warrior Cats books and also Guardian Herd. Here is her review of this new series: I felt that the continuation book to Guardian Herd was rather dull compared to the earlier books. The storyline was too cliche and too easily comprehended. The landscape shared similar issues to the story - not unique enough. The characters were fine but they lacked interesting quirks to give them more personality. The landscape is just a fantasy land with pegasi, dragons,giants,etc. I guess I was hoping the worldbuilding would be expanded. You can easily figure out what's going to happen next, which made it hard to want to read. The characters were relatable and did some unexpected things every so often. It was interesting to not always know what they would do next. Yet still some more interesting characteristics would have been nice. It would have added the final touch to all the characters in the story. In conclusion, the book didn't live up to the expectation of the last books. It had more cons than pros. In all, it was not terrible but it was a little disappointing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Liahona Whittle

    I cant wait for the next book!!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Megan Sarclette

    Across Dark Water is a story of courage and friendship, community and growing up. Of finding inner strength and embracing it to shape the future. I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book, and am grateful to be able to share this story with my 11 year old, horse-crazy daughter. The characters in this book are so well done, you can almost see them laid out in front of you while you read. The Kihlari are a special group that I expect to hear a lot about from my daughter as she reads this i Across Dark Water is a story of courage and friendship, community and growing up. Of finding inner strength and embracing it to shape the future. I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book, and am grateful to be able to share this story with my 11 year old, horse-crazy daughter. The characters in this book are so well done, you can almost see them laid out in front of you while you read. The Kihlari are a special group that I expect to hear a lot about from my daughter as she reads this incredible story. I am looking forward to the subsequent installments of the series, curious to see how the story unfolds. I enjoyed joining Rahhki and the Fifth Clan, along with the Kihlari and the Storm Herd in this imaginative adventure. Well done, J Alvarez, you’ve gained new followers!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mark Buxton

    My name is Echofrost, and I swore Shysong wouldn't remain captive as long as I was alive. I thought escape from the Landwalkers would be easy, so I allowed myself to be captured. I didn't expect them to clip my wings, and I slowly realized resisting them only hurt myself. I was growing weaker and starving to death. I was surprised when I developed a bond with a Landwalker cub despite my best efforts against it. The cub actually fought three Giants to protect me even though he had no fighting abi My name is Echofrost, and I swore Shysong wouldn't remain captive as long as I was alive. I thought escape from the Landwalkers would be easy, so I allowed myself to be captured. I didn't expect them to clip my wings, and I slowly realized resisting them only hurt myself. I was growing weaker and starving to death. I was surprised when I developed a bond with a Landwalker cub despite my best efforts against it. The cub actually fought three Giants to protect me even though he had no fighting ability! I'm supposed to be sold in a few days, but I've got to escape before then. Even if I get away, where will I go? I don't know where my wild herd went, and the jungle contains dangers I've never faced, including the Giants. And what will I do if Shysong refuses to leave? The plot was more interesting than I expected due to the unique storytelling. The thoughts and dialogue were creatively blended between the humans and Pegasi. Rather than sharing the different points of view through alternating chapters, the author did it with one narrator. It could have been confusing, but the strategy worked. Rahkki, the human "cub", and Echofrost shared common traits of compassion, bravery, and determination. Echofrost displayed a grittiness to help Shysong, but she quickly felt a responsibility to free the Kilhari, the humans' trained Pegasi. Their ancestors had fled the same homeland centuries before, but most of these Pegasi didn't understand freedom and were reluctant to leave. Freedom was scary for them. In contrast, Rahkki only wanted the best for Echofrost, and he quickly decided the Pegasus should be released. However, he'd be punished, maybe killed, if he helped her escape. An additional level of conflict was found between the queen and Rahkki and his brother. The queen had killed their mother and would be happy if the boys were dead too. This subplot continued throughout the book, and a surprise was dropped near the end. I wished the first half of the book had moved more quickly, but I found the overall book very entertaining. Give it a shot.

  7. 5 out of 5

    LillyAnn

    Alvarez has really done it again, she really captures the essence of the bond between man and creature. This is such a unique twist I would have never seen coming however I love it. After reading Guardian Herd I knew had to keep reading and before I knew it we were delighted to have another series to read. I will always be a proud fan of yours Jennifer! Keep doing what you do. I look forward to book 2!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Tilton

    Riders of the Realm: Across Dark Waters is a thrilling new fantasy by Jennifer Alvarez for the fans of her Guardian Herd series. They will not be disappointed! Riders of the Realm is a brand new journey into an unknown realm for 140 terrified pagasi who have fled Anok in treacherous search for a peaceful home and new life. Readers will be delighted to reunite with Echohfrost, Hazlewind, Graystone, Dewberry, Redfire and Shysong, and the other pegasi, who call themselves the Storm Herd. Her storyt Riders of the Realm: Across Dark Waters is a thrilling new fantasy by Jennifer Alvarez for the fans of her Guardian Herd series. They will not be disappointed! Riders of the Realm is a brand new journey into an unknown realm for 140 terrified pagasi who have fled Anok in treacherous search for a peaceful home and new life. Readers will be delighted to reunite with Echohfrost, Hazlewind, Graystone, Dewberry, Redfire and Shysong, and the other pegasi, who call themselves the Storm Herd. Her storytelling is magical and flows organically. The setting and world-building is enchanting, but full of hidden dangers. Alvarez has created a matriarchal culture within the Sandwen seven clans ruled by a monarch queen. Storm Herd lands among the Fifth clan. The men in the clans are warriors. The flying steeds (Kihlari) are tame and are paired for life with a flyer, but they are trained for the military guard to protect the clans. There are huge ants, killer plants, spit dragons and giants who communicate by using sign language. The plot is exhilarating with epic adventures, action, clashes between the wild and tame steeds, the evil Fifth clan queen, the capture of Echofrost and Shysong, and the warring giants. There is a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter that will keep readers fully engaged in this fast-paced novel. We meet Rahkki, a 12-year-old stable groom for his older brother, Brauk, who is a Rider. They have suffered a horrific family loss and take care of each other. When the wild flying herd glides high above their village, Rahkki is excited and his imagination soars as he wonders what else may live outside his world. Rahkki has no hope of ever being a rider, so he spends a lot of time with Echofrost. It is the perfect pairing, since both share a loss. And their relationship is crucial to the fate of both the realm and of Storm Herd. Loyalty, trust and friendship will lead them forward. Alvarez expertly tells her story in the alternating voices of Echofrost and Rahkki, which offers a rich perspective and a lot insight into this compelling story. For Echofrost, being paired and ridden by a flyer, is unthinkable. For the tame Sandwen Pegasi being wild is an unimaginable. They are honored battle warriors and paired for life with a human. Alvarez ends the book with a huge cliffhanger.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Jennifer Lynn Alvarez is one of the most talented and most professional middle grade writers around. Her Guardian Herd books have a devoted following, and now she has a new series that I think will be equally popular: Riders of the Realm. In this first book, subtitled Across the Dark Water, a band of Pegasi have escaped the terrors of Anok and crossed the Dark Water to the land of the Sandwen clans. First off, I have to say that Alvarez's world-building is exquisite. She has created a matriarchal Jennifer Lynn Alvarez is one of the most talented and most professional middle grade writers around. Her Guardian Herd books have a devoted following, and now she has a new series that I think will be equally popular: Riders of the Realm. In this first book, subtitled Across the Dark Water, a band of Pegasi have escaped the terrors of Anok and crossed the Dark Water to the land of the Sandwen clans. First off, I have to say that Alvarez's world-building is exquisite. She has created a matriarchal culture, with warriors, tame Pegasi, dragons, giants, and now the herd of wild Pegasi which has arrived. There is action aplenty, with fights, chases, and some super pegasus aerial derring do. I kid you not, I think this would be an excellent movie (so come on, Hollywood producers!) I was moved by the relationship between young Rahkki and his older brother, Brauk--and the losses they have endured. The main point-of-view Pegasus character, Echofrost, has similar losses, and this really ties the narrative together. At the end of my reading, I was left yearning for more of this story (Jennifer Lynn Alvarez sets up some tantalizing story questions for a sequel). Oh, and did I mention there's also some great humor within the pages too? (Let's hear it for Lutegar, the swamp buffalo.) In writing terms, Alvarez goes a great job of alternating the third person narrative between Echofrost and Rahkki's point of view. Also, she's a master of the chapter cliffhanger. Writers, she is definitely worthy of study.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Avery

    It took me awhile to get into, but once I did it was quite an entertaining read. The back doesn't lie, it certainly was a LOT like warriors (I've never read Guardians of Ga'hoole, so I can't make a connection). The names of the Anok pegasi are very similar, so similar, I even looked up whether Jennifer Lynn Alvarez was in Erin Hunter (she's not, but certainly writes similarly). It also reminded me of the Pegasus series (duh), the Wings of Fire series (by Tui Sutherland who is coincidentally part It took me awhile to get into, but once I did it was quite an entertaining read. The back doesn't lie, it certainly was a LOT like warriors (I've never read Guardians of Ga'hoole, so I can't make a connection). The names of the Anok pegasi are very similar, so similar, I even looked up whether Jennifer Lynn Alvarez was in Erin Hunter (she's not, but certainly writes similarly). It also reminded me of the Pegasus series (duh), the Wings of Fire series (by Tui Sutherland who is coincidentally part of Erin Hunter), and another book which I forget the name of. My favorite characters were Shysong, Tuni, Brim, and I'lenna (and Reyella). I found it an addicting read, and a great fantasy novel. I haven't read the other Guardian herd books, but am excited to. The suspense was enthralling, there were numerous times in the book where I was SURE it would end, but it didn't. And then at the one time I was sure it would keep going, it didn't. I am so eager for the next book, but alas, I'll have to wait.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rainflight

    This is an incredible book! Though I personally prefer the original Guardian Herd series and would love to see more of those, since I love Star, this series didn't disappoint!!! Realistic and inspirational characters, a plot line that twists and turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat, a brand new world across the dark water that is full of secrets and backstories and completely unknown to our pegasus heroes! The humans will be humans, and can never be as lovable as the pegasi to me, but Jenn This is an incredible book! Though I personally prefer the original Guardian Herd series and would love to see more of those, since I love Star, this series didn't disappoint!!! Realistic and inspirational characters, a plot line that twists and turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat, a brand new world across the dark water that is full of secrets and backstories and completely unknown to our pegasus heroes! The humans will be humans, and can never be as lovable as the pegasi to me, but Jennifer portrayed them very well and I couldn't help but fall in love with Rahkki and the other humans. I loved being able to learn more about Echofrost and see the world through her point of view. She's definitely a well-developed and fascinating character with a lot of potential and possibility, which the author definitely made use of and did a splendid job of it! Shysong, a new introduction, is also a great character who has quite a lot of potential and though we've never known her until now, she is very cute and sweet and I absolutely love her. Definitely deserving of five stars!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ashley N.

    Ok, I loved this book. While the prose is definitely written for younger readers, I consumed this book quicker than I thought I would. It picks up right after a group of pegasi decide to leave Anok during Star's and Nightwing's battle in the forth book in The Guardian Herd series. This story follows Echofrost as she becomes captured by the "Landwalkers" and tries to plot an escape for herself and her friend. I wasn't sure how I would feel about the addition of humans into the pegasus world, but Ok, I loved this book. While the prose is definitely written for younger readers, I consumed this book quicker than I thought I would. It picks up right after a group of pegasi decide to leave Anok during Star's and Nightwing's battle in the forth book in The Guardian Herd series. This story follows Echofrost as she becomes captured by the "Landwalkers" and tries to plot an escape for herself and her friend. I wasn't sure how I would feel about the addition of humans into the pegasus world, but it contrasted the winged steeds very nicely. We as the readers got to really understand the differences between the wild pegasi and pretty much every other living thing. You don't need to read The Guardian Herd series in order to enjoy this book, but having that background knowledge is a benefit. And as with The Guardian Herd series, this book also ended with a cliffhanger, so I'm eager for the next book to come out.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Annika Z.

    I was nervous when I picked this book up, because I had grown attached to the characters in Jennifer Lynn Alvarez's previous series, The Guardian Herd, and I was concerned that they might have changed. I was pleased that although this book takes place in an entirely different setting form The Guardian Herd, the characters were true to the original series. I enjoyed reading their interactions with the new characters introduced in this book. I loved Across The Dark Water, and I would strongly reco I was nervous when I picked this book up, because I had grown attached to the characters in Jennifer Lynn Alvarez's previous series, The Guardian Herd, and I was concerned that they might have changed. I was pleased that although this book takes place in an entirely different setting form The Guardian Herd, the characters were true to the original series. I enjoyed reading their interactions with the new characters introduced in this book. I loved Across The Dark Water, and I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who has a love for horses and fantasy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shelli

    I was hesitant to pick up the newest book in this series since I usually enjoy animal stories without human characters influencing the plot, but I was pleasantly surprised. There's a lot going on in this story that will keep you interested, and I really enjoyed it being told from two POV's. The author was talented enough to make me root for both Rahkii and Echofrost, even when they had completely opposing goals. The ending successfully set up why these two characters would work together, and I v I was hesitant to pick up the newest book in this series since I usually enjoy animal stories without human characters influencing the plot, but I was pleasantly surprised. There's a lot going on in this story that will keep you interested, and I really enjoyed it being told from two POV's. The author was talented enough to make me root for both Rahkii and Echofrost, even when they had completely opposing goals. The ending successfully set up why these two characters would work together, and I very much look forward to the next book in the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    Riders of the Realm is a great read for kids. I am a great fan of Jennifer Lynn Alvarez's books and she has once again created a world that seems so real and wonderful that is is as if it's real. I love everything about this book. For me it's one of those books that you can read over and over and over again and it never gets old. This book is great for fans of Kathryn Lasky, Erin Hunter, Stuart Gibbs, S.D. Smith, and Andrew Peterson. A great read for the whole family. Riders of the Realm is a great read for kids. I am a great fan of Jennifer Lynn Alvarez's books and she has once again created a world that seems so real and wonderful that is is as if it's real. I love everything about this book. For me it's one of those books that you can read over and over and over again and it never gets old. This book is great for fans of Kathryn Lasky, Erin Hunter, Stuart Gibbs, S.D. Smith, and Andrew Peterson. A great read for the whole family.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Williams

    A lovely continuation of the Guardian herd series, I loved seeing Hazelwind, Refire, Dewberry and Echofrost come back and introduce a whole new world beyond Anok. Shysong was such a sweet character, and Rahkki was so relatable, I fell more in love with Alvarez's characters every page I read. I cannot wait for the next bok in the Riders of the Realm series to come out, and I look forward to seeing this series evolve. 5 stars! A lovely continuation of the Guardian herd series, I loved seeing Hazelwind, Refire, Dewberry and Echofrost come back and introduce a whole new world beyond Anok. Shysong was such a sweet character, and Rahkki was so relatable, I fell more in love with Alvarez's characters every page I read. I cannot wait for the next bok in the Riders of the Realm series to come out, and I look forward to seeing this series evolve. 5 stars!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ember Fire Goddess YT

    One word: Amazing! But really, I thought this was going to be boring and nothing at all like the other series, but wow, was I wrong! It switched from Rahkki's and EchoFrost's points of view while remaining in the third person if you understand what I mean. Though the only part where I felt bored was up until chapter 3 pg 14. (I think I have a different copy than this one since mine ended on pg 417) I loved this book and can't wait to get the next book! One word: Amazing! But really, I thought this was going to be boring and nothing at all like the other series, but wow, was I wrong! It switched from Rahkki's and EchoFrost's points of view while remaining in the third person if you understand what I mean. Though the only part where I felt bored was up until chapter 3 pg 14. (I think I have a different copy than this one since mine ended on pg 417) I loved this book and can't wait to get the next book!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Schulenburg

    For reasons I can't quite explain, this story just didn't sit well for me. It was good writing and very detailed characters and world, but it just wasn't something that I was interested in. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who really has a love of horses and fantasy stories - it's worth a shot to see if it fits you! For reasons I can't quite explain, this story just didn't sit well for me. It was good writing and very detailed characters and world, but it just wasn't something that I was interested in. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who really has a love of horses and fantasy stories - it's worth a shot to see if it fits you!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Crystalpixel

    This book is really action packed and I loved the way Alvarez included the relationships between the humans and the pegasi. I feel like it sheds light on a new world or gives us readers the last piece of the puzzle that is Guardian herd and the world of Anok. That was missing. Love it. Huge fan btw!!👌

  20. 5 out of 5

    Estefania

    As soon as I got the book, I had to read it right away. It's a really great book and you would fall in love with the story and characters. As soon as I finished it, I had let my friend read it as well and she also fell in love with it. We both would not stop talking about it and would really recommend it to someone who really love fantasy adventure. As soon as I got the book, I had to read it right away. It's a really great book and you would fall in love with the story and characters. As soon as I finished it, I had let my friend read it as well and she also fell in love with it. We both would not stop talking about it and would really recommend it to someone who really love fantasy adventure.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's probably closer to a 3.5 or a 3.75, but this was definitely a good book. I want to see some character development in Rhakki, though, and I don't want Echofrost to stay with him forever (unless he somehow joins Storm Herd-- I just don't want Echofrost to be part of the Sky Guard). I guess we'll see what happens, though. It's probably closer to a 3.5 or a 3.75, but this was definitely a good book. I want to see some character development in Rhakki, though, and I don't want Echofrost to stay with him forever (unless he somehow joins Storm Herd-- I just don't want Echofrost to be part of the Sky Guard). I guess we'll see what happens, though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Chilton

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I don't know why it took me so long to finally read this book but holy cow! This book was incredible and had me on edge the whole time! I felt like I was in Echofrost's hooves throughout every battle she faced! I cried for her her, was angry for her and happy for her! This book really shook my emotions and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second one!! I don't know why it took me so long to finally read this book but holy cow! This book was incredible and had me on edge the whole time! I felt like I was in Echofrost's hooves throughout every battle she faced! I cried for her her, was angry for her and happy for her! This book really shook my emotions and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second one!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Syl

    My daughter loves any and all of Jennifer's books. This book was no exception. Although slow to start, the book is a riveting page turner. A good start to a new series. We definitely recommend this book to any middle schoolers who love horses and fantasy. My daughter loves any and all of Jennifer's books. This book was no exception. Although slow to start, the book is a riveting page turner. A good start to a new series. We definitely recommend this book to any middle schoolers who love horses and fantasy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    L.

    Truly amazing! I hope everyone else agrees! I love all of Jennifer Lynn Alvarez books! She is fantastic! I can't wait for the next book in the Riders of the Realm series! The book was perfect! -Lover of The Guardian Herd Truly amazing! I hope everyone else agrees! I love all of Jennifer Lynn Alvarez books! She is fantastic! I can't wait for the next book in the Riders of the Realm series! The book was perfect! -Lover of The Guardian Herd

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liana Martin

    I love this book! It's really good and well written. Also, were there two different covers for this book? Just wondering since the cover I saw at first for this book was different. I like them both though! ;) I love this book! It's really good and well written. Also, were there two different covers for this book? Just wondering since the cover I saw at first for this book was different. I like them both though! ;)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Huckleberry Rahr

    This is a great book for all ages. I like how the point of view shifts between the people and the pegasi leaving you wanting to root for several sides at once. As an adult is was a fun read, but my youngest also loved the story. Really fun for all ages.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jill Cd

    I loved this book about Landwalkers ( humans) and Pegasi. If you like high adventure and fantasy and appreciate books like The Warrior series, you will enjoy this one! Can’t wait to read the next book. Grades 3 and up

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gillie

    This is the second time that I have read this book, and it is just as good as I remembered. I like the story line, and the descriptive writing is excellent. I think it is pretty sad, though, that a two year old mare has to change her entire identity to save her herd.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    this book is amazing! i loved it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    BethanyAlbers

    This book was really amazing because it had so much action, and i'm so glad there is a second book. This book was really amazing because it had so much action, and i'm so glad there is a second book.

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