Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Young Bond: Book Two – Blood Fever

Young Bond: Book Two – Blood Fever

Charlie Higson
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 to and up
Hyperion, 2007   ISBN: 978-1423100294

James Bond is back from his so-called holiday in Scotland and he is finding life at Eton rather tame and empty after his Silver Fin adventures. Having ones life threatened numerous times does tend to change ones outlook on life, and to break the tedium at his boarding school he has joined the Danger Society. One thing the Society members do is to sneak out of their beds at night for illicit meetings on rooftops. One night, after the Society has been rumbled and the members have fled, James overhears a strange meeting between two men. They are speaking in Latin. Then he comes across a room in which items which are marked with a double M motif are stored. Something about the whole place is very unsettling and James does not forget it.

That summer, instead of going to stay with his aunt Charmian, James goes with a group of Eton boys to the Island of Sardinia. They are going to tour the many archeological sites on the island and after James has had enough he will leave them so that he can spend the remainder of the summer with his cousin Victor in his villa. James learns from a friend that the MM motif that he saw in that room in Eton and tattooed on a man’s hands stand for the name of an organization called the Millenaria. The organization is a secret society which hopes to bring back the glory of the Roman Empire. James cannot help wondering why such a society would be active in Eton.

After spending some time with the Eton group James goes off to his cousin Victor’s villa. He likes Victor a great deal though the eccentric surrealist artist who lives with him is a big over the top at times. All is going well until the day when a local millionaire called Count Ugo Carnifex comes to visit. He is a sinister and highly neurotic person and he insists that Victor should visit his palace and attend a party he is giving. James stays behind and during Victor’s absence the villa is robbed of its entire collection of art works. Barely escaping from the robbery with his life, James and one of Victor’s servants, a boy called Mauro, head for Ugo’s palace.

When he gets there, James begins to discover that the so-called Count is little more than a well heeled sadistic bandit. He is a thief, a cheat, and a kidnapper and it isn’t long before James is having to fight for his life and for the life of a girl whom Ugo has imprisoned in his fancy house of cards.