cover image The Vengekeep Prophecies

The Vengekeep Prophecies

Brian Farrey, illus. by Brett Helquist. Harper, $16.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-0620-4928-5

In an excellent, self-contained adventure from Farrey (With or Without You), 12-year-old Jaxter Grimjinx is anxious to prove himself at the family business: thievery. Jaxter’s first attempt at burglary ends with a house fire and his family being jailed, but his parents have already put their biggest con into motion, having replaced the prophetic tapestry that predicts the year ahead for the city of Vengekeep with one that shows the Grimjinx family as heroes. The family quickly discovers, however, that the fake tapestry is actually enchanted, and every disaster it depicts is coming true, from lava men to winged skeletal creatures. Stuck in the role of town saviors, the Grimjinxes must destroy the tapestry before it destroys Vengekeep. Farrey’s rich fantasy hits the ground running and never lets up. Jaxter has an amazing talent for defeating magic with science, and a strong theme of the value of knowledge runs through the book. Farrey’s story is gentle enough for sensitive children, yet the travails of the conniving Grimjinx clan will entertain a broad range of readers. Ages 8–12. Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.)