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Today’s review by Rosemary Warbelton is just one reason why I love featuring her teen reviews. She introduces me to books I have never heard of… and I just love getting an authentic, teenage view of the story!

 

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Author: Henry Neff | Website
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012
Publisher: Random House Books
Age Group | Genre: YA | fantasy, adventure
Series: Yes, The Tapestry Series (this is book 4)
Pages: 480
Rating: 4

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Backstory

“The Tapestry is a contemporary fantasy fiction series that follows the life of a boy named Max McDaniels.

The story of The Tapestry occurs in our world and during the present day. Old Magic is reawakening and a demon named Astaroth has returned to raise the stakes in an ancient war. This war threatens to consume not only cities and governments, but history itself.

Mankind’s greatest hopes for independence and survival lie with Rowan Academy. Rowan is the last school of magic where those possessing special gifts are trained to serve as stewards of the arcane arts and guardians of mystic creatures that have faded with the modern age. From Rowan, powerful Mystics and deadly Agents continue the struggle against things that go bump in the night.

With Astaroth’s resurgence, however, Rowan is overwhelmed. The battle passes into the hands of Max McDaniels and his roommate, David Menlo. The same Old Magic that is transforming the world also courses in their veins, making these two boys extraordinary even by Rowan’s standards. While David’s abilities rival those of the greatest sorcerers of the past, Max is believed by some to be a modern incarnation of the Irish hero Cúchulain. The two boys are called to combine their gifts and face a world marked by a new hierarchy of creatures great and small, which are pushing humankind beyond the fringes of civilization.”

source: author’s website

Review

The Tapestry Series is about a boy named Max McDaniels.  Max has a very optimistic, enthusiastic, and loving, but somewhat naïve father. His mother has been missing several years, but his father has never lost hope.  One day max is recruited to go to a magical school called Rowan.  He travels to the school, which had beautiful grounds and buildings.  Max as a first year student had to be incorporated in to the system. He had to get a charge, a magical pet, sometimes with really intense needs.  He was also assigned a room that personalized itself to him and a roommate. His roommate named David, seemed sickly and peculiar, but Max came to love him like a brother. David soon showed a strong affinity for magic.

Soon threats that were thought to be all but gone begin to stir. Astaroth the demon an age old enemy of mankind was fighting and plotting to rise from his prison.  The series centers around Rowan’s struggle with Astaroth.  Neff has a habit of making massive plot twists majorly important to the central storylines. I’ll refrain from telling you too much about the direction of the storyline.

The cover art for this book is absolutely stunning. Each book has an intricate and attention-grabbing cover that gets me enormously psyched like five months before the book comes out.  There are a lot of dark themes in this series and that is reflected on the cover.  There was though, a constant undercurrent of hope throughout the series. And some seriously awful things happen to poor Max.

The language in this book is not at all advanced, but there are some seriously bizarre names. There are also a lot of characters. I don’t mind though, because many of the names he uses are rooted in mythology and really quite diverting. To be worthy of a name, at least in my opinion, a character should be noteworthy and intriguing. I think all of Neff’s characters earn their names.

This is one of the few teen books where I actually love the main character. He really develops throughout the series into a three-dimensional person.  His reputation at school is as a ruthless defender of Rowen. This is a snippet of how Rowen sees Max.

Rowan’s recruiters had known right away that max would be exceptional, but none foresaw how rapidly his abilities would develop. During his first year at Rowen, Max had shattered records that had stood for centuries.

I give this book 4 out of 5.  I really loved this book, but I withhold the 5 out of 5 in the hope its sequel will be even better.

Book Talk: Have you heard of/read The Tapestry Series?

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