Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles: The Wyrm King

Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles: The Wyrm King

Holly Black
Illustrator:   Tony DiTerlizzi 
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 10
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009   ISBN: 978-0689871337

Most of us prefer to have trouble-free lives, but alas most of us either find trouble or trouble finds us. Not long ago, when he, his stepsister, his brother, and the Grace children managed to lure the stone giants into the ocean, Nick thought that all his troubles were over. They had managed to get rid of the destructive fire-breathing giants, and now life could go back to the way it was. What Nick did not know then was that just like with normal animals, species fantastical creatures are interconnected, and there is a balance between the species that should not be interfered with. It is only after the giants are underwater that Nick finds out that there is some creature around that is worse than the giants, a creature that the giants prey upon.

   The first indication the children get that something is wrong is the sudden appearance of numerous sinkholes. Florida is prone to sinkholes, but they are appearing all over the place at an astonishing rate. When the children decide to investigate, they discover that the sinkholes are not a natural phenomenon. Strange little salamander-like creatures seem to be responsible for the sinkholes, and the children have no idea how to get rid of them. When they realize that the salamander things breathe out methane, it begins to occur to the children that these creatures might be dragons. Now they begin to understand why the black wriggly creatures are worse than the giants. Somehow they have to bring the giants back before it is too late. If they don’t hurry, the baby dragons will come together to form a monster dragon and then they, and everyone else in Florida, will be in deep trouble.

   In this final Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles title, Holly Black gives her fans a story that is full of action and tension and surprising plot twists. In addition, readers will enjoy seeing how Nick and his stepsister solve their personal problems once they realize what they could lose if they don’t solve them.

   Throughout the book Tony DeTerlizzi’s extraordinary artwork compliments the narrative.