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Simon and Schuster
Brandon Mull

"BEYONDERS: Chasing the Prophecy," by Brandon Mull, Aladdin, $19.99, 504 pages (f) (ages 8-12)

The last installment of Brandon Mull's Beyonders series will not disappoint those who have eagerly awaited its release, delivering pages of action-packed adventures of heroes in the land of Lyrian.

"Chasing the Prophecy" describes the final travails of Jason and Rachel, known in the world of Lyrian as Beyonders. The two friends and their mismatched companions are seeking to fulfill a prophecy made by the Oracle of Mianmon in the second book, "Seeds of Rebellion." While the Oracle said there was a way to defeat Maldor, that prediction didn't give the group much hope, since she also said they have very little chance of succeeding.

The group does know, however, that Rachel and Jason are to split up, each with a different role to play. Rachel leads one group to reinstall Galloran as king of those lands where he once reigned. Jason leads another group, strong heroes who seek knowledge in the strongly guarded last abode of Darian the Seer. This is where the Oracle told them to go to increase their chances against Maldor.

Comment on this story

Both groups, at times, are thwarted at every turn, and it is unknown until the very end whether the heroes will gain a victory over Maldor. Mull, a Utah native and New York Times best-selling author of the Fablehaven, Pingo and Candy Show War series, does a good job of character development and description of the different lands in Lyrian. The circumstances surrounding each character are exciting and engaging, with the risk of any character either succeeding or losing his life ever-present. The end of the book keeps the reader engaged and turning pages as fast as possible to find out how the story ends.

The book does contain violence and death, though the violence is rarely explicitly described. Many characters lose their lives, and these deaths occur on both the good and evil sides. There is no language or sexual content. The target ages are recommended to be 8 to 12, though an older audience would also enjoy the book.