Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Blood Guard

The Blood Guard

Carter Roy
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Two Lions, 2014   ISBN: 978-1477847251

Many children are stuck with names that are hard to pronounce or that are strange. Evelyn Ronan Truelove is stuck with a name that he heartily dislikes and despises. It may be okay to be a boy called Evelyn in England, but in America Evelyn is a girl’s name. Evelyn used to get picked on a lot but then his mother enrolled him in a judo class. He was only five at the time, and since then he has taken classes in aikido, Krav Maga, kendo, gymnastics, wilderness survival and more. These days no one teases Evelyn and he expects people to call him by his middle name, Ronan.

One day Ronan’s mother, Bree, comes to pick him up from school, and it is soon clear that something is amiss. Instead of taking Ronan to his gymnastics class, which is where he is supposed to be going, Bree starts racing around town, driving like a crazy person. She tells Ronan that she is trying to lose the two SUVs that are following her. Ronan can’t understand why they are being pursued, and his mother tells him that the people in the SUVs want to kill them, explaining that she is part of a group called the Blood Guard, an organization of special individuals who protect people “from bad guys.” Their pursuers are the bad guys.

After managing to beat up their pursuers even though she only has a sword and they have guns, Bree tells her son that he has to go to the train station and get on a train bound for Washington D.C. Someone on the train will be Ronan’s “escort,” and Ronan will know who the person is if the person gives him the right answer when he is asked what the time is. Ronan can hardly believe that is mother is sending him away, but he can see in her eyes that she is afraid for him, and so he does what he is told.

On the train Ronan meets a young Englishman who, it turns out, is his escort. The young man, Dawkins, is a pickpocket, and he also is in the Blood Guard. He explains that the Blood Guard is an ancient order whose members make it their life’s work to protect thirty-six people, the Pure, who are “better than all the rest of us put together.” The Pure don’t know what they are and their presence is the only thing that is preventing the world from falling into a state of chaos. The people who chased Ronan and his mother, and who also appeared at the train station, want to kill off the Pure so that the world can be remade. The version of the world that they want would be a terrible place.

On the train Dawkins and Ronan meet Greta, a girl whom Ronan knew at his old school. She saw Dawkins steal from someone and she is determined to turn him. However, before she can do so, Ronan’s pursers turn up and Dawkins is forced to fight them. He, like Ronan’s mother, is an amazing fighter, but his efforts don’t end up being enough. The train they are on is sidetracked and it is clear that their enemies have something to do with the train stopping.

After stealing a bag belonging to one of their enemies, Dawkins and the children jump off the train. When they search the bag, they find that it contains a Tesla gun, some handcuffs, and a pistol. It also contains six swords. Since one of the men on the train was carrying Ronan’s photograph, they now know that he is the target, though they don’t have any idea why.

In this gripping novel readers will get swept up by an adventure that is enthralling and very addictive. Readers will have a hard time putting the book down as they hurtle into the unknown with two children and their bizarre guide.

This is the first title of what promises to be a wonderful series.