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Book review: 'To Run with the Swift' continues the adventures of teenager, enchanted pouch

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 3:35 a.m. MDT

"The Guardian, Book 2: To Run with the Swift" is a young adult novel by Gerald N. Lund. (Deseret Book)

THE GUARDIAN, Book 2: To Run with the Swift,” by Gerald Lund, Deseret Book, $29.99, 587 pages (f) (ages 14 and up)

Just because El Cobra and his gang of kidnappers were ultimately unsuccessful and are in jail doesn’t mean the adventures are finished for 16-year-old Carruthers “Danni” McAllister and her family and friends, including Ricky Ramirez.

“To Run with the Swift” continues the story of Danni and “Le Gardien” — an enchanted yet unpredictable pouch that is passed down through their family.

While they go back home to Hanksville, Utah, with an FBI cover story, life doesn’t get back to normal as unusual things continue to happen. When word leaks out that a couple of teenagers thwarted an international kidnapping ring, they become the focus of local and national media. Then when details come out that were kept secret, including information about the enchanted pouch, the family does their best to bow out of the spotlight by taking a trip to Europe.

Gerald N. Lund is the author of Gerald N. Lund is the author of "To Run with the Swift" the second book in his Guardian series. (Provided by Deseret Book)

They still aren’t safe there, as the plotting against their family is more than just a single kidnapping and extortion attempt. Those pulling the strings won’t stop until they’ve taken something that is highly valued — hope — and have their revenge for their forebears during World War II.

The story is told from Danni’s perspective, and she learns about the history of her family, hope and relationships and how the pouch and the “Four Remembers” from her Grandpère can ultimately guide her when it seems the pouch and hope are lost. And they learn, too, that all that looks like gold might not be.

The adventures of Danni, Ricky, her family and her pouch, which were originally bedtime stories author Gerald Lund told to his grandchildren, are an entertaining coming-of-age story that spans generations and crosses continents.

Reading "The Guardian," the first book in the series, first is helpful, but Lund cleverly includes most aspects of the story so the reader isn't lost.

The language is clean. While there are instances of fighting and some violence, none of it is graphically described.

Lund, who spent 35 years working in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Church Educational System and from 2002-08 served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, is also the author of the fictional Work and the Glory series and the Kingdom and the Crown trilogy, along with "The Fire of the Covenant," “The Undaunted,” and the nonfiction “Divine Signatures” and “Look Up, My Soul: The Divine Promise of Hope.” He wrote three adventure novels — “The Alliance,” “Leverage Point” and “The Freedom Factor” — in the late 1970s and 1980s.

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