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Sage, Angie. TodHunter Moon, Book One: PathFinder (World of Septimus Heap).

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Sage, Angie. TodHunter Moon, Book One: PathFinder (World of Septimus Heap). Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, 2014. 480p. $17.99. 978-0-06-227245-4.

Alice TodHunter Moon is feeling lost and confused--her mother has died, her father has vanished, and horrible creatures are snatching up villagers and chasing her. Seven years after the final installment of Septimus Heap, Tod lives in a village of PathFinders, and just after her father has started to reveal the secrets long held by the PathFinder people (the Sams, Moons, and Starrs), he disappears. When her best friend, Ferdie, is taken by the hideous creatures known as Garmin, Tod and Ferdie's brother, Oskie, decide they must find her. Finding themselves in peril, two kindhearted people, who turn out to be Snorri and Nicko Heap, rescue them, and after Ferdie is rescued, Tod's journey continues to the Castle and the Wizard's Tower. There she learns that she has strong Magykal powers and is introduced to the new Extraordinary Wizard Septimus Heap, the indubitable Marcia Overstreet, and a host of other Heaps. As dangers and intrigue pile high, Tod must embrace her own brand of Magyk as well as her PathFinder skills to help save those she loves.

Sage returns middle and junior high readers to both new and familiar parts of the Magykal world, once again masterfully blending suspense, humor, and engaging characters in her tale. Tod is a terrific female protagonist, full of uncertainty and untested strengths. She receives reassurances from Snorri that "life is like a sea passage ... you sail your boat the best you can, but sometimes there is a storm. All you can do is to keep a steady hand on the tiller and hope for better weather." And steady Tod stays, learning to trust herself and her emerging talents. This starts a series that graduates of Septimus Heap, as well as readers looking for an engaging new series, will love. --Mary Ann Darby.

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Author:Darby, Mary Ann
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2014
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