Book of Mysteries
Author: Fran Orenstein
Book One: The Revenge of the Wizard: Beware: You are about the enter the Book of Mysteries at your own risk:
To an ordinary reader this might seem like any mystery thriller filled with action, suspense, murder and drama. But, this book is quite unique and different because the adventures that he and his friend Zack encounter, live and experience will take him back in time to where wizards existed, dragons were feared, gargoyles had evil spells placed on them, scepter were used and a stolen crystal might be the answer to stopping a war. But, first he has to find a bookstore called Beadlesberry Rare Books. Now, you’d think that this would be easy. Think again! All you should have to do is ask someone where the store might be but this is not your ordinary bookstore. This one you see, is not always there okay so it disappears once in a while. I guess only a select few are allowed to enter it. So, Tyler’s work is cut out for him as his Uncle Thaddeus has charged him with finding the store and beginning his first adventure. But, first he has to find the store and then convince his best friend Zack to some along. Now, let’s enter the world of The Book of Mysteries by author Fran Orenstein and find out just what she has in store for these two teen adventures when we read Book One: The Revenge of the Wizard.
Black clouds loomed overhead, cold fingers of electric tinged the air the author writes as we begin our adventure and Tyler’s fears begin to surface even before entering the store. A wooden sign with the name of the store looms in the distance and thunder takes control of the sky. On the glass-fronted door a sign stating that they close for storms and the lights in the store were out but out of nowhere a candle flickered and the next thing they knew both boys were inside of the store. Pulled in by an ice-cold claw the door slammed shut behind them. Feel the tension, the fear, as things are about to change.
Meet Bartholomew B. Beadlesberry bookseller and know it all at your service to Tyler, Zachary and all readers of this great book. Enter the world of wizards, magic and spells along with Tyler and Zack. Take hold of the Book of Mysteries and note that it has only titles and not stories within the pages. You, the reader along with these two young boys will choose your own adventure, decide where in time you want to go and hopefully have the most exciting time or journey of your life. The Wizard of Balalac is first. However, no adventure can begin without the quartz crystal, which is attached to the magic pendant. Would you believe it comes from the lost city of Atlantis? Take hold of the pendant and choose a story and say the title out loud and off you go into the story.
As the story begins both Tyler and Zack wind up in Balara and are now officially Barawagans and meeting some of the residents starting with Esmara in Maidenspa. What Zack and Tyler learn is that this poor country lacks hot water and even worse the land shakes every night. They manage to stay at the Spa and also learn that in the morning the spa is hot. The poor people need to know why this is happening and if there happens to be an angry dragon somewhere. Will Zach and Tyler solve the problem? Will they ever return home? What happens when they realize who the major of this place really is? He might look familiar not only to them? Things get strange and they try to relate the events to Beadlesberry but instead he pretends to not know these two young 13 year olds who just want to go home. Finding the bubbling water, steaming clouds, dragons and many more strange things they begin to wonder who they can trust, if they will find the lost pendant and whether they will ever return home to New York again.
Young warriors is what the townspeople called them hoping that would uncover who the Wizard of Balalac was and wait until you learn why this wizard was causing all of this havoc and who was creating the earthquakes. Meet Ellby, Crumble, Bramble and a host of characters that you will fall in love with and maybe even want to visit them. Just how they go after the Wizard and who else is involved you won’t get from me. Will they ever get home or will they remain there forever? Find out when you read Revenge of the Wizard and learn that things in mythical lands are not that much different than ours or are they? Enter the world of the Book of Mysteries and take the adventure along with Tyler and Zack.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
The Gargoyles of Gothica
Imagine meeting two identical Goth girls whose father is King and whose mother is queen. Imagine a land surrounded by gargoyles that are supposed to protect the castle. Imagine an evil queen named Maeve who wants to get the throne of Gothica for her son. Imagine Tyler and Zack going back for another adventure and this time entering the book to the land of Gargoyles of Blackthorne and meeting Ivy and Lilyrose. Lily and Ivy might be identical twins and sisters but Lily definitely is more assertive and not so nice at times. Thinking that she is next in line to be queen she seems to like to rub it into Ivy but there is much more to this story as our two young brave Squires Tyler and Zack along with Ivy and Lily and their cousin Valor have to save the Kingdom before it falls and dies. Their cousin Mordant, his father Malevil and his mother Queen Maeve had plans of their own. The only thing protecting the kingdom is the Golden Scepter, which was stolen. But, when Tyler and Zack discuss a plan to get it back to help the King someone is lurking in the background and that someone is Mordant. But, is he really on their side or is he a spy. The author tells the story behind his mother’s tragic death at the hand of his grandmother. Her imprisonment and her final moments are described, the evilness of the queen and her plans to kill the royal family. Just why you won’t believe and how they plan to get her in their clutches, get the scepter back you won’t believe as our two young brave squires come up with a plan that would not only endanger them but might cause them never to return home again. But, finding the tunnel that leads her castle, hoping to get another set of keys to allow them into the tower is just part of the plan. What happens and if they succeed you will have to learn for yourself when you enter the book, take another adventure and find out if they get the golden scepter back or will Maeve rule Gothica? An ending that will teach everyone what happens when the truth comes out and the plan is finally revealed. As kids take the lead and prove that when adults and children really listen to each other things get accomplished and the world might just be better off. The power of knowledge, listening and understanding are strong messages in this book and understanding differences to try and rid the world of evil.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
The Centaurs of Spyr
Uncle Thaddeus returns, dinner is served and Tyler and his parents discuss the events that have taken place thus far. As Tyler reflects with his family his past adventures another storm is brewing outside and you know what is about to come. You got it! Tyler and Zack go back to the Rare Book Store to find the mysterious Bartholomew B. Beadlesberry to learn what is next. Well, they decide but the adventure has already been written in this wordless book of mysteries created by author Fran Orenstein just with titles. Now, imagine if you are an educator and you want to encourage kids to write what about creating your own book of mysteries or titles and having your students create adventures for Tyler and Zack or their own characters and sending off their writing to the author.
Now, let’s get to this adventure that leads them to meeting the people of Haven, learning about the war between the griffons and the hippogriffs and the reasons behind it. Well, not the reasons but what they think caused this problem to happen and how they think our two young peacemakers can solve a problem that has festered thousands of years.
Finding themselves in Haven our two young boys meet the Oak Tree who leads the way for their adventure. Now, let’s meet Kai and Cassandra two lovely young ladies that live in Haven and join our two peacemakers to solve this problem With the help of the General Elm Tree and his fleet of great and smart trees they might be able to come up with a plan to stop the war that has been brewing forever. The first step is to meet the Centaurs who are at the center of this solution. Finding their crystal might help. The sacred crystal of the centaurs needs to be returned or else there will be serious retribution. Now, the griffons live in the North Mountains and are half eagle and half lion where the hippogriffs are half eagle and half horse. The Haven lie between the North and South Mountains almost like the center of a sandwich about to be eaten first. Got it!
But, first they need to find and learn about the Book of Prophesies written and created by you guessed it Bartholomew B. Beadlesberry the Mayor of every town we visit. This guy gets around. Let’s not forget the two pegasuses whose telepathic powers will come in handy to help them. But, what do they have to do? First, they have to deal with the flogs that live in the cave and have the crystal. They eat beetle bugs and unless they cut off their food supply that will not have any leverage against them. However, with the help of the young graven tree and the addicting juice that the flogs cannot resist they hope to find and take back the crystal orb that they have hidden inside the cave in the Spyr Mountains and return it to the centaurs. Meeting with Bandor the Directorion of the Centaurs he allows them to ask for his help and eventually agrees. Returning the crystal orb how does it disappear and why does he think they betrayed the centaurs? Keeping Kai and Tyler hostage and allowing the Oak Tree to explain the situation the war begins between the griffons and the hippogriffs and Haven Woods stands to lose if it is not stopped. But, with a surprise edict Bandor agrees to meet with both sides but our two young hostages remain. Without the help and guidance of the precious trees, which I love trees and wish they would never be cut down, they might succeed. But, let’s not forget the two Pegasus Mist and Cloud.
What happens and if they finally get peace in Haven Woods is a secret that I promised the Centurions I would never reveal. Will they convince both sides to stop fighting or will everyone fight for the next thousand years? What happens when four brave kids decide to take matters into their own hands, speak with the Trees, talk to the leaders of all sides and what happens might enlighten our own world leaders today. What about letting teens or kids lead the way to peace? Interesting to say the least. So, will our author bring these two back for more even though they might not want to reenter the book of mysteries? That’s a mystery that has yet to be solved and only author Fran Orenstein can solve that one.
Three great books with great lessons for adults, teens and young adults to learn. Understanding, love, trust, loyalty, fair play and much more are taught plus these stories are great for teaching character education, group discussions, study groups and more.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
Let’s give this book: FIVE SPECIAL COCOA TREATS