The Empire of Gut and Bone

Gr 6—9—At the end of The Suburb Beyond the Stars (Scholastic, 2010), Brian and Gregory passed through a portal to the world of the Norumbegans to enlist help in defeating the Thussers, who have defied the rules of the game that was supposed to settle the ancient conflict between these two peoples. To their dismay, Brian and Gregory discover a lazy, morose people who have no desire to revive the rules. The Norumbegans now live within an alien body, deceiving themselves from facing the fact that they have descended into squalor. Their servant automatons are now revolting, however politely, against them. Brian and Gregory are flung into the role of detectives as they try to solve the murder of the Norumbegan Regent and save the life of their automaton troll friend Kalgrash, who is suspected of the crime. Anderson has done nothing less than create a true American fantasy with inspiration from a mythological New England settlement. He has fashioned an ongoing work that is a worthy successor to the books of Susan Cooper and Lloyd Alexander. It also doesn't hurt that the author's wit is running on all cylinders here, and he never squanders an opportunity to unleash amazing verbal pyrotechnics. This book is not for readers new to the quartet, but as the penultimate book in the series, it offers a thrilling conclusion.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO
"Running down an alley...being chased by small clockwork monsters with razor blades on stalks...Gregory felt that perhaps he needed to make some changes in how he spent his free time." In their third story, Gregory and Brian go down the rabbit hole (in this case an esophagus). Fans of the bizarre and imaginative series will enjoy the pair's latest adventures.

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