Books #22, #23, & #24: The Ashtown Burials

I became a fan of N. D. Wilson after reading his 100 Cupboards trilogy last year, and was eager to read the Ashtown Burials series, another children’s fantasy series by him. This series includes The Dragon’s Tooth (#22), The Drowned Vault (#23), and Empire of Bones (#24). The story follows Cyrus and Antigone Smith, a young brother and sister struggling to survive after their father’s death and mother’s sudden illness. Their older brother, Dan, manages the rundown motel where they live and tries to take care of his siblings. Their lives are forever changed when a strange man shows up at the motel one day and, suddenly, Cyrus and Antigone become part of a secret society that protects the world’s treasures and legends. Wilson’s mix of a fantastic and modern world, along with some reimagining of old legends, is creative and fun. But, like his other works, this adventure is not without darkness or danger as his heroes face the evil forces of the world. It gets bloody and grim, but never without hope as Wilson shows how true bravery and strength are found in love and sacrifice. N. D. Wilson has written a fourth and final book for the series but it, sadly, has become stuck in publishing limbo for the past couple years. Hopefully it will eventually come out to wrap up this intriguing story.

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