A World Without Heroes

Brandon Mull, S&S/Aladdin, $19.99 (464p) ISBN 978-1-4169-9792-4
Mull (the Fablehaven series) launches the Beyonders trilogy with a dark tale that updates classic tropes with solid contemporary characters. Thirteen-year-old Jason is transported (via hippopotamus gullet, no less) from Colorado to Lyrian, a magical world ruled by the despotic sorcerer Maldor. After witnessing some horrific deaths and learning the history of Lyrian, Jason discovers that his quest to return home might be impossible without defeating Maldor, which can only be done by finding the syllables of a long-lost magic word that erases itself from the memory of those who utter it. He's given this task by the Blind King, the last man to discover the word, who also introduces him to Rachel, another refugee from Earth. Mull throws some magical creatures—including a race that can be dismembered and still live—and plenty of challenges at Jason and Rachel, who must use their wits to survive. Death and betrayal often dominate the plot, but Mull moves his story at a brisk pace, preventing the tragedies from overwhelming the adventure, while offering ample action and feisty dialogue to keep fantasy lovers entertained. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Open Ebook - 464 pages - 978-1-4169-9798-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4423-3735-0
Prebound-Glued - 454 pages - 978-0-606-23675-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-3736-7
Paperback - 454 pages - 978-1-4169-9793-1
Paperback - 454 pages - 978-1-4424-8290-6
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