cover image Have Sword, Will Travel

Have Sword, Will Travel

Garth Nix and Sean Williams. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-545-25902-6

The discovery of an intelligent enchanted sword offers unexpected adventure for two children. When friends Odo and Eleanor find the sword called Biter, awakening it from a centuries-long slumber in the river, they’re not prepared for what comes next: Biter “claims” Odo as his new owner and dubs him a knight, despite Odo’s reservations and Eleanor’s desire to become a hero. Nevertheless, all three set out to discover why their village’s river threatens to run dry, an adventure that offers ample opportunities to confront evil and hone their skills. Nix and Williams (the Troubletwisters series) offer a fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek adventure featuring memorable heroes, an entertaining premise, and not one but two magical swords with way too much personality. “Fine steel such as myself must be cared for and protected,” Biter informs the children. “As well as a scabbard, I will require sandpaper and tung oil, and a sharpening block, and...” (Biter’s dialogue appears in an Old English font, making it read all the more portentously.) It’s a enjoyable spin on the age-old hero’s journey, filled with action and humor. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Oct.)