Fans of both Percy Jackson and Indiana Jones will be captivated by the lost civilizations, ancient secrets, and buried treasure found in the second book of the Ashtown Burials series, action-packed adventure by N. D. Wilson, the author of Leepike Ridge and the 100 Cupboards trilogy.
It's been almost a year since Cyrus and Antigone Smith earned their places as Journeymen at Ashtown, home of an ancient order of explorers that has long guarded the world's secrets and treasures. While their studies go well, Cy and Tigs are not well liked since losing the Dragon's Tooth to the nefarious Dr. Phoenix. The Tooth is the only object in the world capable of killing the long-lived transmortals, and Phoenix has been tracking them down one-by-one, and murdering them.
The surviving transmortals, led by legendary warrior Gilgamesh of Uruk, descend on Ashtown in force, demanding justice. Cy and Tigs find themselves on the run in a desperate search to locate Phoenix and regain the Tooth. In the process, they uncover an evil even more dangerous than Phoenix, one that has been waiting for centuries to emerge.
About N. D. Wilson
My name is Nathan David Wilson, and I do not write fantasy. Sure, my stories are full of magic doors, insecure wizards, ghostly ballrooms, fat faeries named Frank, and proud raggants. Yeah, there’s a blind undying witch who sees out of the eyes of her cat. And yep, things go really crazy for Henry York when he touches a dandelion. Sounds like realism to me.
As a kid, when I read fantasy (especially Tolkien or Lewis), it was terribly easy for me to become bored with my life. I would look through my window at my relatively small backyard (small when compared to Narnia or Middle Earth) and wish that my world could be more interesting. It needed to be magical. Why couldn’t wardrobes really lead you into Narnia? I lived in Idaho. I’d never even seen a wardrobe, let alone a magic one made from a tree grown from an apple brought from another world. But eventually, and in part thanks to Lewis and Tolkien, I began to open my eyes. This world is magical. It is magical in its past (ask Beowulf or Hercules or Moses). And it is magical right now. All around us, magic is overflowing and running down the streets.
Do you really live on a ball spinning in circles through the stars? Does the heat from the closest star really make trees and grass and moss out of the carbon dioxide in the air? Have our wizards really pulled black ooze up from beneath the earth’s skin, mixed it in their lairs into something that explodes, and made us magical metal boxes than can race around on roads, riding on those explosions? Are you bored with that, yawning in your seat belt? Is lightning real? Tornados? Does the big spinning ball beneath us always suck us down, and are we really talented enough to constantly balance on our feet? What kind of creatures are we?
Sit Moses and Beowulf down, and listen to their stories. Sit Bilbo down and listen to his. Do you disbelieve their tales? Are they made up? Are they fantasy? Now tell them your stories. Have you flown through the sky in a giant metal tube? Do we have boats that can sail to the very bottom of the sea? Have we thrown men all the way to the moon?
A hobbit would laugh at you. To him, your world could not be real. Your stories would be fun to read, beneath a blanket on a rainy day. He might look out of his window and sigh, wishing for a more magical world of his own.
In my stories, this world is a magical place, and not because I wish it was. Because it is. Henry York discovers that magic, he discovers it in Kansas, and it is hidden right in front of him, inside his bedroom wall.
School Library Journal, October 2012:
"This action-packed sequel to The Dragon's Tooth (Random, 2011) promises--and delivers--as much magic, mystery, and mythology as its predecessor. Thanks to Cyrus and Antigone Smith, Dr. Phoenix now possesses the Dragon's Tooth--and he's been using it to hunt and kill immortals worldwide. Phoenix has a dark agenda, but an evil alliance of immortals, Ordo Draconis, also seeks the tooth's power. Worse, the Ordos have a centuries-old vendetta against the Smith family. Circumstances within the Order of Brendan are already shaky when fearful immortals, led by Gilgamesh of Uruk, storm Ashtown, demanding Smith blood. The siblings narrowly escape. To help retrieve the tooth, they recruit the infamous immortal, Captain John Smith. Cyrus has a plan, but will it work? Characters are well drawn, and the story's many interwoven plotlines, although complex, are easy to follow. This absorbing guy-friendly adventure will appeal to fans of Michael Scott and Rick Riordan."
Booklist, September 15, 2012:
"Cyrus and Antigone Smith have a lot of problems. Their mother is still unresponsive in the hospital. The Ordo Draconis was stopped the last time out by their ancestor, Captain John Smith, but the cabal seems intent on rising to power again. The siblings should be training to become explorers, but there isn’t enough time. The leadership of the Order of Brendan is changing, and the transmortals--like Gilgamesh of Uruk--want revenge on Cyrus because he inadvertently put the Tooth of the Dragon into the hands of Dr. Phoenix. It’s no wonder the Smiths are on the run with the other Polygoners. They must fight their way through physical and emotional torture as they seek to release Captain Smith and stop Phoenix. Beginning where The Dragon’s Tooth (2011) left off, Wilson’s second installment is fast-paced and creatively plotted. New characters, such as Arache and her spiders and a mysterious red-winged blackbird, add complexity in relationships and prevent the story line from feeling contrived. In exploring the idea of what
it means to be truly alive, this novel will take your breath away."
From the Hardcover edition.