Deborah Cidboy’s sequel to Tasket: The Passage, teenager Denny and his cross-universe friends have been summoned to DiLunna, a planet in danger of destruction. An evil sorcerer was recently released from a milliennium-old curse. They meet with the Queen and her healers, a group of very large spiders. This world features fairies, trolls and dwarfish miners with a unique form of reproduction.
The story starts a bit slowly with Denny and his magical friends escaping Henrietta, who has been hired to babysit Denny. While riding the rainbow Denny is injured, causing him amnesia. Once on DiLunna, the magical spiders heal him, and he meets the queen, her entourage, and a baby fairy. Tamara, a shapeshifter girl, is his path to trouble. The characters from the previous book are revealed along and along, so that this book does stand alone.
One thing I particularly liked about this book is that the “three man band” features teens who are not loyal friends. They are forced to work together despite their lack of trust. Building trust allows them to discover the cause of the collapse of the world and who is behind it. This is handled very nicely, without anyone withholding information that is known, only that what one person thinks he or she knows may not be the truth.
Deborah Cidboy tells the story from shifting points of view, making it very textured. Once the world is established, the pace picks up and the meanings of the various legends and traditions begin to make sense. A number of characters are not what they appear to be. The teens must facing an ancient evil to restore power from to queen.
This book should appeal to middle grade and junior high readers, as well as adults. The plot is layered, the relationships platonic, and the setting complex. I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.