Monday, May 17, 2010

Review/ MagicKeeper: The Pyramid of Souls by Erica Kirov

Monday, May 17, 2010
It was stolen from Alexander the Great. To keep it safe, Edgar Allen Poe bargained away his sanity. And somebody suckered P. T. Barnum to get their hands on it. It's the most closely guarded secret in the magician community. And it's missing.

What would you do to protect your family from an ancient pyramid capable of stealing your very soul?

Nick Rostov finally has the life he's always dreamed-and he'll do anything to protect it.

Nick has only now discovered he is part of an extended Russian family of magicians: the Magickeepers. He lives with his eccentric new relatives at the Winter Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where they perform daring feats of magic to a packed house. Real magic.

But Nick and his family face a new danger in the form of a stolen relic, the Pyramid of Souls. The tiny pyramid has traded hands many times throughout history. Its power can steal a magician's very soul.

Nick knows who took it: Rasputin, leader of the Shadowkeepers. Using his unique ability as a Gazer-one who can see into the past-Nick enlists his cousin Isabella to help him find it. Soon, the two are hot on the evil sorcerer's trail...until Isabella's soul is trapped by the very relic they're trying to find.

Nick will do anything to rescue Isabella and recover the Pyramid of Souls. But will it be enough to save his family?(publisher's summary from Powell's Books)
In the second book of the Magickeepers’ series Erica Kirov once again has created a charming magical story about Nick Rostov and his unusual family. The plot revolves around an ancient relic that has the ability to capture the souls of magicians so that their magic can be used for evil.

Nick is still learning about his magic along side his cousin Isabella, whose magical gift allows her to communicate with animals. The head of the family Damian Rostov, is hosting a magical convention and when the Pyramid of Souls is stolen, and Isabella literally disappears, Nick risks his own life to save the ancient artifact and Isabella.

Although I did not read the first Magickeepers book, Kirov did a fantastic job at providing enough background about Nick’s past so that I did not feel lost. Nick is a typical thirteen-year- old boy except of course for his ability to see into the past, and make things disappear. He prefers pizza to borsch and tends not to practice his magic as much as his Uncle Damian expects him to. He also enjoys staying up late with his cousin Isabella and playing cards.  Nick is smart though and when Isabella’s very soul is at stake, Nick, despite the risk to his own safety, manages to come up with a plan to trick Rasputin, the head of the Shadowkeepers, and retrieve both the Pyramid of Souls and Isabella.

The Pyramid of Souls is a perfect middle school adventure filled with characters that are easy to relate to and magic that is straightforward and fun. I loved Isabella’s pet Siberian tiger, Sascha and the different references to Edgar Allen Poe, PT Barnum, and Sir Issac Newton. Nick is brave and impetuous, but manages to save the day. The ending, although fairly predictable, does have a surprise turn to it, which I thought added just the right amount of suspense. I think the Magickeepers series is one that will delight the tween audience and would recommend it as an additional to all middle school libraries.


Stephanie said...

This looks terrific -- I can see myself reading it with my 11-year-old son. I love the fact that it includes literary and historical references. And a character who talks to animals! What more could you want? :-)

Aleksandra said...

Great review! Sounds like something I'd enjoy, so I'll add the series on my list!

The1stdaughter said...

This sounds so good! I LOVE middle grade fiction now, especially after my time at the festival of books, something about seeing all those middle grade kids getting so so excited about reading these great books has me hooked! I can't wait to pick this one up, great review!

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