Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Middle Grade/Adventure/Epic Fantasy
Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words
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“Scott Collins was born and raised in Southern California but relocated to the Denver area following the birth of the first of his two sons. Days' End was his debut novel and now Scepter is the first in a middle grade fantasy series. In addition to writing, he enjoys spending his free time (with two kids that's not much time) running and cycling.”
Please feel free to visit his website and Facebook page.
“In their quest to overthrow the reign of the evil King Argyle so they can free their parents and the rest of his slaves, a small clan of youngsters has banded together to reunite the jewels of the Scepter of Harmony.
Having stolen the Emerald of Phaunos and reuniting it with the scepter, they must once again test their skills and resolve as they face the challenge of grabbing the Ruby of Helios from a ruthless band of raiders.
With the diegylis still hot on their heels, the band of rebels navigate the waters of the Great Lake, as well as the scorching desert of the Land of Sands, before facing a tribe of reptilian beasts who would rather die than relinquish the power of the ruby.
Though unexpected help comes from two powerful sources, will it be enough to save one of them from certain death, and the others from overwhelming odds? Failure is not an option, for if they don't succeed, Argyle will destroy the scepter, and the kingdom will collapse into ruin.”
During their stay with the Centaurs in Alustria, Halem and Atreyu have a change of heart and decide to join Daniel and Aidan’s small group to defeat Argyle. They start training with the younger Centaurs in strengthening exercises and weapons use under Liam. At the end of each day they get lessons in Alustrias' history and character building advice from Shon. The trials and tribulations between the human children and the young Centaurs are age appropriate, common problems dealing with peers.
With the group down to five children at this point, Daniel, Aidan, Zack, Olivia, and Lilly are in a small boat heading down river to the Great Lake. Feeling safe they discuss the next leg of their quest in a relaxed atmosphere. Until they notice storm clouds moving their way. The children are faced with pirates, merpeople, and the threat of Argyle getting closer to capturing them. There are new threats that our questers must face while crossing the scorching desert in search for the Ruby of Helios. They are tested to their limits of endurance. Things only get worse when Argyle’s diegylis (The half man, half wolf warrior creatures.) catch up with them.
Mr. Collins has written a unique, epic adventure, including battle scenes, which are sure to thrill boys and girls alike. Olivia and Lilly contribute their fair share to overcoming each obstacle that challenges their group. I really appreciate the fact that even though there are disagreements within the group they manage to cooperate and work together in the end.
The Ruby of Helios is book 3 of the Scepter series. It is important to read the series in order.
I found nothing of note with the editing or proofing.
Rating: **** Four Stars