Fifteen years ago, in the middle of the night, Jamie Carpenter’s mother went up to the dark lighthouse on the cliffs. She never came back.
Yesterday, Jamie had a nightmare: his little brother disappearing like their mother did, through the door of the lighthouse, a door that has never opened.
Today, the nightmare came true. Jamie’s brother is missing. And not just missing–he’s been abducted, taken through the lighthouse door into the world of magic that lays beyond.
With his best friend Nia at his side, Jamie crosses into a world he never knew existed–but Emanu is not the fairytale world of childrens stories. Desperate to understand who took Danny and why, struggling to survive in a world of shadowy magic, Jamie and Nia seek the help of the Council of Witches. As they uncover more and more of Jamie’s family secrets and unknown powers, it becomes clear that Nia herself may be something more than human–and that it’s her the Council views as their biggest threat…
Swept up in a dark political game they don’t understand, burdened by magic they don’t know how to use, Jamie and Nia are going to have to learn fast if they’re going to survive Emanu and rescue Danny Carpenter. There are only six days until the gate between worlds closes again. For good.
There are many secrets in the small town where the Carpenter brothers Cal, Jamie, and Danny, live with their father. What happened to their mother and why does no one talk of the day she disappeared? Why does the abandoned light house light turn on and off by itself? Also, what happened to both of Jamie's friend, Nia's parents?
As summer comes to a close, Jamie and Nia are helping Cal pack for college. When they go look for some boxes in the Carpenter's attic, a lifetime of secrets come spilling out. Spell books, a locket with Nia's name on it...and oh, the lighthouse is glowing again. Through the portal, Cal, Jamie, Danny and Nia are thrown into another world that is in political turmoil, trouble caused by them. They have six days to figure it out...
I loved this suspenseful, non-stop adventure that made me keep reading and reading, I really had trouble putting it down near the end. Overall, the book had a feeling similar to the Chronicles of Narnia. The world of Emanu was masterfully built, I wanted to explore it all. I thought it was great that this was a world with two queens as a married couple. Also, both political forces were run by women and women were soldiers. Every character is well crafted and their motives are thought out and carried through. Nia is by far my favorite and I felt for all the struggles that she had to endure. The romances, both of them, threw me for a loop. I am glad that the book is not tied up in romances though, they are really secondary to the plot. This book is good for middle grade YA readers through adults.
What will Jamie, Danny, Cal and Nia do to achieve peace in another world?
Anna Carolyn McCormally currently manages a small used bookstore in Washington, D.C.. She has a tattoo of the Deathly Hallows and blogs about YA fiction at www.giantsquidbooks.com.. Her short fiction and poetry has been published in pacificREVIEW, Quantum Fairy Tales and 3 am magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mccormallie.
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"Nia was giving Cal’s injured shoulder the evil eye and reached for the sword that was lying beneath him. She drew it, went to open the cut on her palm.
“Hey!” Rowan said, and reached over and swatted the blade away. “Don’t do that. What are you trying to do?”
Surprised, Nia said, “Blood, for the healing spell,” and Rowan shook his head.
“Barbaric,” he muttered. “There are better ways to heal.” He glanced at her. “But you don’t need to use Old Magic—you’re a witch, aren’t you?”
Curiously she said, “How did you know? Is it because I’m translating?”
Rowan blinked. “What language are you speaking?” he asked.
“English,” Nia said tentatively.
“Nia. Junia. And that’s—that’s Jamie, this is Cal.”
“Junia,” Rowan repeated. He had a funny look on his face. “Listen—if you don’t want to get noticed by scum like the Captain back there you’d better learn to hide better than that—the hourglass there, and on your sword. The Council isn’t...universally popular. And your eyes don’t give you away so it should be easier to hide.” But then he frowned. “How old are you?”
“Eighteen,” said Nia, sounding a little defensive.
Rowan looked quizzical. “They should have changed,” he said. “Are you half, too? Or whole?”
Nia didn’t say anything. She did not, Jamie realized, know.
Maybe Rowan could tell Nia was uncomfortable. “At any rate,” he said. “Just give me a minute and I’ll heal his shoulder without cutting anybody up.”"