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Book review: 'The Unwanteds Quests: Dragon Captives' is an adventure-filled start of a new series spinoff

Posted February 4

"THE UNWANTEDS QUESTS: DRAGON CAPTIVES," by Lisa McMann, Aladdin, $17.99, 419 pages (f) (ages 10 and up)

Fifer and Thisbe Stowe are 12-year-old identical twins who are forever getting into trouble in “Dragon Captives.” Although their magic is powerful, it’s also undisciplined and, despite their efforts, has gone awry many times, ending in drastic results. But when a dragon appears at the land of Artimé and begs for help, the twins decide to sneak away and save the day. At least, that’s their plan.

After talking their best friend into accompanying them, the three set off on a journey that quickly becomes more dangerous than anticipated. When the land they arrive in turns out to be more wild and unforgiving than the one they left, the three realize they are in over their heads.

When their magic goes berserk, they find themselves deep in the caverns of a ruler they’ve never met, trying to help a group of dragons by using a difficult spell only the most experienced mages have attempted. Soon, they begin to wonder if they’ll ever see their families again.

Author Lisa McMann’s delightful book, which is set to be released Tuesday, Feb. 7, is full of adventure, danger and magic that could easily delight middle grade magic-lovers. The bond between the Stowe sisters is endearing to read about, and the love family members have for each other makes this book both realistic and appealing.

Although “Dragon Captives” is the first book in The Unwanted Quests series, many of the characters and past events in the book were introduced in an earlier series, The Unwanteds. While previous happenings and characters are explained, reading “Dragon Captives” may leave readers wanting to read the other series as well.

“Dragon Captives” has clean language, no romance and adventuresome violence that never results in killing.

McMann is a New York Times best-selling author of both middle grade and young adults books. She lives near Phoenix with her family.

Elizabeth Reid has bachelor's degrees in economics and history. A wife and mother, she loves learning people's love stories and blogs about her own at agoodreid.blogspot.com.

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