Imagine riding on a rhino's back. Dust is all around you, the wind is in your face and the thuds of hooves are ringing in your ears. In "Spirit Animals 3: Blood Ties," children Conor, Abeke, Melin and Rollan get to experience all this.
The Spirit Animals series is set in the alternate world of Erdas. Here, some chosen people can create lifelong bonds with special animals and enhance their own powers. The four animals that bond with the young main characters are a wolf, a panda, a falcon and a leopard. The four kids need to rescue each of the great beasts' talismans in order to defeat the evil conquerors and The Devourer.
The land of Erdas is made up of seven different continents. Conor is from Eura, Rollan from Amaya, Melin comes from Zhong and Abeke hails from Nilo. The other three areas are Oceanus, Stetriol and Arctica.
The third book, "Blood Ties," follows Melin as she goes back to the land of Zhong to find and rescue her father. Separately, Conor, Abeke and Rollan are heading to the same place. When the four meet up, they travel to where Jabari, the elephant, is. They need to get the talisman before the conquerors arrive — or it might be too late. Will Melin find her father and will they survive? It is all revealed in this third book.
This third installment in a planned series of seven books is written by two New York Times best-selling authors, Garth Nix and Sean Williams. They did a wonderful job as the book has interesting plot twists and the location is developed so well that it seems that the reader is right there in the land of Erdas.
The next book, "Fire and Ice," is going to be written by local author Shannon Hale.
The Spirit Animals series has an online game at spiritanimals.scholastic.com that lets players create their own characters and spirit animals. It can be accessed with the code included in the back inside cover of the book.
"Blood Ties" is a great book that readers of all ages should love.
If you go ...
What: Garth Nix and Sean Williams, "Blood Ties," and Maggie Stiefvater, "Hunted" book signing
When: Tuesday, May 6, 7 p.m.
Where: Provo City Library, 550 N. University Ave., Provo
Note: Tickets are free and required; they are available at the Provo City Library Children's Desk; standby lines will be available
Kate de Groote is in the seventh grade.