“Here be dragons!” as scaly-skinned Emba Oak found out with the thwump of a dragon’s tail at the entrance to her cave in Emba Oak and the Terrible Tomorrows. This thwump was the start of a dangerous adventure to rescue her friend and the discovery that she wasn’t born but hatched from an egg. If that wasn’t enough, she discovers that her father is an evil sorcerer. Now the adventure continues in book two in this fantastic series.
Emba Oak and the Beckoning Bones is the second book in the Emba Oak dragon adventure series. Packed with magic, dragons and humour it is the perfect exciting and thrilling read for children aged 9+.
After a successful rescue mission and defeating the evil Necromalcolm (Emba’ father), the adventure is not over for Emba, Fred and Odolf, with no time to relax the trio are back for a second time in Emba Oak and the Beckoning Bones by Jenny Moore.
With the discovery that Emba is part dragon, and her father is an evil sorcerer (who has now been turned into a small lizard), Emba’s life is in turmoil. She is haunted by strange dreams where skeletal dragons are beckoning her to faraway mountain peaks. On returning home to their cave in Witchingford Wood they find that it has been ransacked and a red crack is in the sky, warning that danger is not far away. Luckily enough, the intruders didn’t find the Tome of Terrible Tomorrows which Fred consults for help and gets the next prophecy – and their next adventure. With intruders in their home, questions about her heritage and trying to control the fire within, Emba sets off with her guardian Fred and friend Odolf on another mission to find the meaning of her dreams and to find the lost treasure of the Petrified Peaks, but with a bounty on their heads it isn’t going to be easy.
The next adventure begins. A quest that is fraught with danger from bounty hunters, scary animals and frightening places. Will they be able to reach the Petrified Peaks safely and fulfil the prophecy? And what of Necromalcom? Is he gone forever or is he still after Emba’s rare dragon’s blood? Furthermore, what are Emba’s strange dreams of a beckoning skeletal dragon about? Questions that will all be answered by reading this wonderful adventure story.
Overall, Emba Oak and the Beckoning Bones is an excellent adventure-packed story that continues the series from where the Terrible Tomorrows ended. It has plenty of twists and turns that are great for young readers to escape in to, taking readers to places with names such as the Screeching Swamp, the Stone Circle of Certain Doom, the Pretty Pond of Peace and Pleasantness and the Petrified Peaks. Along the way they also meet some great characters in the non-verbal Howard the Hushed Hermit and a young girl called Merle, and then there are the strange creatures that they encounter with wasp snakes (yes, a snake that buzzes just like a wasp) and giant scorpions with two tails.
The Beckoning Bones continues Emba’s adventurous coming of age discovery about who she is, with the help of her friends and family. The relationship and bonds between the trio of intrepid adventurers is excellent, especially between Emba and Odolf.
Whilst it is a story packed with adventure, scares, thrills and humour it is also a story of an 11 year old girl (nearly 12) whose body is changing and she is trying to understand and come to terms with what is happening. She knows that she is different from other people, after all not many can breathe fire and cast magic spells, but she is struggling to control it and is desperate to only use her differences for good and not evil like her father.
Emba Oak and the Beckoning Bones is an excellent exciting and entertaining thrilling adventure that young readers will lose themselves in and just won’t be able to put down. With excellent characters, amazing locations, awesome creatures and fantastic friendships it is a fast-paced thrill-packed adventure story, sprinkled with humour, that is excellent reading. It will capture the minds of middle-grade readers aged 9+.
An excellent continuation of the Emba Oak adventure series, and I for one can’t wait for the next instalment – Emba Oak and the Screaming Sea.
RRP: £7.99 (Paperback)