Alexander Drake’s Extraordinary Pursuit by Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Length: Short Story (112 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Orchid
Alexander Drake is a curious young man. He lives in a drab, oversized mansion with his secretive father and spends his days playing alone. Where is his mother? And why is his father so tight-lipped about the past?
But secrets have a way of getting out. And a stay at his grandmother's cottage provides strange clues to his father's past. A past Alexander is determined to find out about.
With a mysterious key and several maps in his pack, he sets off on an innocent search for answers about his family.
The discovery of a secret passageway opens the door to dangers, and wonders, unimaginable. And each answer leads to more questions and the journey of his life.
Join Alexander for a thrilling adventure in Azra's Pith, a place of beauty and magic... but beware--something evil lurks in the shadows.
A lonely boy, out of place in school, lives with a cold, silent father. Alexander Drake is unhappy. He longs to know more about his mother, but his father won't talk about her. An unexpected visit to his grandmother supplies some of the answers to his questions when he finds articles and maps that belonged to his father, presumably from when he was younger.
The maps lead him to a strange word of magic, unusual creatures and danger. He must go on a journey to his grandfather's castle but the route is dangerous, with flying merks trying to catch him and take him to the dreadful Imperius who has been confined to absolute darkness.
This book was a pleasant read. The excitement and adventure were muted, but the story itself was smoothly put together. Alexander's character is well portrayed with the usual fears and self importance of boys of his age. The land of Azra's Pith is well developed and provides Alexander with some interesting obstacles to overcome.
Alexander's initial interaction is with talking animals and these show sagacity, humor and loyalty, just as a human would. I did enjoy reading the book, just wished there had been a few more highs and lows. Apparently this is the first of the series so there will be more mysteries to look forward to. A book gripping enough for 10 years and upwards, but without any scenes an adult would object to.