The Guardian Herd #2: Stormbound
Written by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
Published by Harper 2015
309 pages Age 8—12 (+)
“When Star received is powers on his first birthday, he became the most powerful pegasus in Anok. But many were afraid to follow the yearling colt and felt safer remaining with their over-stallions. The rest unified with Star and formed River Herd. Now his new herd is homeless and menaced by predators, causing Star to question his ability to keep them safe. And then the Blue Tongue plague appears. . . Mountain Herd is outgrowing its territory . . . Rockwing, hatches a plan to kidnap Morningleaf and . . . Nightwing the Destroyer is alive, and his rise to power threatens all of Anok.
“Star can heal, but he can also destroy, and he can’t help but question his purpose. Is he truly the one to unite the herds? Or will his dark powers overcome him?”
Wow! Alvarez has outdone herself. Stormbound is a riveting, page-turner, just as Starfire—her debut—was before it, only Stormbound ratchets up the stakes to keep readers spell-bound. Star has survived his first birthday and received his star power, making him not only immortal, but the most powerful pegasus in all of Anok . . . as long as 400-year-old Nightwing the Destroyer remains in hibernation. He does not. Star reaching his first birthday awakens the beast, who must now destroy Star to remain the most powerful, and most dreaded, pegasus in all of Anok. Every inhabitant of Anok fears Nightwing, and with good reason.
The great majority of Stormbound is about gathering the herds to unite against Nightwing the Destroyer and survive, but not all are on board, mainly out of a fear of Star. Some, like Rightwing, are desperate to gain new land. His herd has outgrown its land and is now slowly starving to death. Fearing a rebuff by Star, Rightwing kidnaps Morningleaf as a bargaining chip. The Blue Tongue plague is wiping out Snow Herd, whose over-stallion fears Star more than the plague. All of these plots join to make a unified story that will keep the reader glued to the pages and anguished when Stormbound ends.
Alvarez uses one of the oldest writing techniques to keep readers on edge while waiting for her final installment: overwhelming suspense. The big battle between Nightwing the Destroyer (the original black foal), and Star (the new black foal), begins with a mutual sizing-up, and then . . . the final book of this trilogy cannot be released fast enough. It is the perfect ending to a most captivating and spellbound story that, dare I say, is as thrilling a read as Harry Potter.
There are two series out this year that I highly recommend to fans of action-adventure stories. The Guardian Herd is one. The other I’ll write about next week. That gives you enough time to grab The Guardian Herd #2: Stormbound, and, if new to this series, The Guardian Herd #1: Starfire, and enjoy this absolutely wonderful, imaginative, and addictive series. Stormbound can stand alone, but why miss the dramatic beginning to Star and the herds of Anok? And just how, if at all, does the “Territory of the Landwalkers” figure into Star’s story? Wherever you begin your journey in the land of Anok, Star, his friends, and enemies will stick with you for a very long time.
COMING SOON: The Guardian Herd #3: Landfall
THE GUARDIAN HERD #2: STORMBOUND. Text copyright © 2015 by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez. Interior art copyright © by David McClellan. Published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY.
Ms. Alvarez interviews illustrator David McClellan HERE. (with sketches)
Meet the Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, at her website: http://www.jenniferlynnalvarez.com
Meet the illustrator, David McClellan,, at his website: http://davemcclellan.blogspot.com
Find more middle grade novels at the publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books’ website: http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com
Harper and HarperCollins Children’s Books are imprints of HarperCollins Publishing.
AWARDS for #1: STARFIRE
2014 ABC Best Books for Children: Middle Grade Novel (American Bookseller’s Association)
2014 Kid Lit Reviews Best Middle Grade Novel (as voted by readers)
6-Star Review on KLR
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews
Full Disclosure: The Guardian Herd #2: Stormbound, by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, and received from Harper (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review The opinions expressed belong to Kid Lit Reviews, and no one else. This is disclosed in accordance with The Federal Trade Commission 16CFR, Part 255: Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.