The book of secrets by A.L. Tait

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The Ateban Cipher book 1. Lothian, 2017. ISBN 9780734417671
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Gabe stared in horror at the small book in his hand. The light from the low fire danced across its golden cover, setting off a shower of sparkles from the rainbow of jewels that adorned it. Its beauty was dulled only in one corner, stained by a dark, spreading smudge of blood.
What's the secret of the book and why is it so valuable? These are the questions Gabe must answer when a dying man hands him a coded manuscript along with one instruction: take it to Aidan. Gabe is hurled into a quest full of danger, intrigue, adventure and unexpected friendship - a quest that will change everything he thought he knew about right and wrong.
What an exciting series Tait has begun. With lots of twists and turns in the story, children from 9 and up will enjoy the escapism from reality. The author has a unique style with the ability to create memorable characters and equally exciting action. It will be a hit with both boys and girls as Tait has successfully created strong characters representing both genders. Being set in a fantastical middle ages, and the storyline representing a mix of Robin Hood and Rangers Apprentice, the audience can not ask for much else. Themes such as friendship, perseverance and adventure are strong throughout the book. A must have for the library.
Kathryn Schumacher