cover image The Ring of Five

The Ring of Five

Eoin McNamee, Author Random/Lamb 16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-385-73731-9

McNamee (the Navigator trilogy) leaves few clichés unturned in this solidly crafted if unoriginal launch to a new trilogy. Danny Caulfield is a lonely boy who was often teased in school for his unusual looks. When his parents send him to boarding school, he’s surprised to end up at Wilsons, a magical spy academy preparing students for a war between dimensions. Even more surprising, his unusual features make him look like the evil Cherbs, which doesn’t endear him to some of his classmates. Not surprising—for readers, at least—is that he seems destined for greatness, and that a mysterious person is attempting to kill him. Danny’s few friends include talented thief Les, the ditzy and occasionally vanishing Dixie, and Vandra, a vampiric “physick” who heals using her teeth. The dozens of adults include the usual slate of experienced teachers as well as a police officer named McGuinness and Master Devoy, who has great plans for Danny. McNamee writes comfortable prose that will satisfy those looking for accessible fantasy. Ages 10–up. (May)