The Artifact Hunters

­Viking. Aug. 2020. 384p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780451478696.
Gr 5 Up–Evil forces are closing in on 12-year-old Isaac Wolf. Isaac overhears his parents arguing that he must “escape” and be “trained.” Escaping makes sense; the Nazis have invaded his native Prague and many of his friends have disappeared. But what does he need to be trained for? It is too dangerous for his parents to teach him their secrets, so instead they grant him two gifts: an ancient watch and an eternity-symbol pendant. With these, he must discover the secrets of time-traveling and being an artifact guardian. Puzzling out the secrets of his destiny won’t be easy with a dark fae named Moloch stalking him. Moloch wants the magical pendant for his own evil designs. Isaac’s parents send him to Rookskill Castle in Scotland, the one place that can shelter him against the wicked fairy. Once a school, now Rookskill is a training ground of the MI6 Special Alternative Intelligence Unit, where magical children use their gifts to help the Allies win the war. There Isaac meets Kat, who has a magical object of her own, a cursed chatelaine that was the subject of the companion novel The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle. With the help of his newfound friends, Isaac must learn to harness his magical powers and become a guardian before Moloch can break through the castle’s protective wards.
VERDICT This fast-paced fantasy will appeal to fans of Carlos Hernandez’s “Sal and Gabi” series. A strongly recommended purchase where adventurous fantasy is popular.

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