Fort Fitzgerald is determined to uncover the truth, but a new student at school and the secrets he has to keep complicate matters in this second novel in a thrilling new series from the author of the New York Times bestselling Story Thieves!
Fort Fitzgerald can’t stop having nightmares about the day his father was taken from him in an attack on Washington, DC. In these dreams, an Old One, an evil beyond comprehension, demands the location of the last dragon. But other than some dragon skeletons dug up with the books of magic on Discovery Day, Fort has never seen a dragon before. Could there still be one left alive?
And weirdly, Fort’s not the only one at the Oppenheimer School having these nightmares. His new roommate, Gabriel, seems to know more than he’s letting on about this dragon as well. And why does everyone at the school seem to do whatever Gabriel says? What’s his secret?
Fort’s going to need the help of his friends Cyrus, Jia, and Rachel, if he’s going to have any chance of keeping the Old Ones from returning to Earth. Unless, the Old Ones offer something Fort could never turn down…
Fort Fitzgerald lost his father during an attack on Washington, DC. His nightmares about his father give him hope that his father is still alive, and Fort is determined to do anything he can, including risking his own life, to bring his father back. He puts into play a plan involving his friends and magic. Will Fort succeed?
This is the second book of The Revenge of Magic series, and, as is typical of second books in a series, it's a bridge book between a strong beginning and a strong ending. Fort and his friends are intriguing characters and the magic is a fun bundle of tricks that we all probably secretly long to try and do. It's an enjoyable ride of a book and who could resist that fantastic cover?
So, really, this was quite boring. But I quite frankly want to read the next one. Not sure how James Riley does that. Probably his amusing acknowledgments pages. More critically, the writing was a bit hard to follow at points, and the plot did not go the direction I'd hoped- but it might in this next one, which it seems like I'll be stuck reading. The only genuinely fun characters in this are Sierra and Dr. Ambrose, and one of those is an adult. Just saying...
I received an ARC this book and was excited to read it, but it didn’t take long to realize that I really should’ve read book 1 first. I stuck with it for about 50 pages and had so many questions that I finally had to quit. But my curiosity is piqued and I plan to locate a copy of the first in this intriguing fantasy series.
After the disasters that occurred in book one of The Revenge of Magic series, I figured book two would be just as exciting. And I was right. Poor Fort, all he wants is to get his father back. He never intended to end up at a magic school where his actions would nearly result in the Old Ones returning to earth to destroy humanity. After their near escape, Fort and the other magic students have been moved to a back up location. And despite everything that has gone wrong, Fort has been informed that his father might still be alive. This leads Fort to more breaking of the rules in an effort to get him back. But his friend Cyrus has warned him about things going wrong if he takes his friends with him and in an effort to protect them, Fort lies about his plans.
After things blow up in his face, Fort is left isolated with only his new roommate, Gabriel, to talk to. As he continues to work on his plans, Fort must decide just what price he is willing to pay to save his father, assuming it's even possible. Especially with his friends, Sierra and Damien on the run, Jia and Rachel not talking to him, and Cyrus and Dr. Opps on their way to another magic school in the United Kingdom. When things blow up in Fort's face, yet again, it's going to take every bit of courage, magic, and brains he and his friends can muster to stop the Old Ones from achieving their desires.
Once again, Riley has written a book full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and good and bad choices. I was left really feeling sorry for Fort, and yet a bit critical as well. On one hand, I could sympathize with his desperate desire to get his father back. On the other hand, he seemed all to willing to wreak all kinds of havoc to achieve his ends. Never having been one to buy into the whole idea that the ends justify the means, some of Fort's actions are troubling. Yet considering he's a teenager who has been seriously traumatized and struggles with major guilt (for no good reason, he couldn't have saved his father in the beginning), he does the best he can to protect his friends and minimize the damage. But there is no way he could have foreseen (not even with Cyrus's help) just how wrong things are going to go.
The author's note at the end of the book didn't help me feel better for poor Fort and company either as he indicates that things are going to get a lot worse for Fort and friends. I'm eager to get my hands on book three in order to find out whether Fort and his friends can somehow survive the coming mayhem.
First off, I did not read the beginning of this series, and that was a big mistake. Book two takes off where the first one ends, and it is very difficult to sink into the story without having read the first in the series. In other words, this book is definitely not a stand alone and can not be read without reading book one.
Fast paced and carrying dark tones, this is a read which fantasy friends are sure to enjoy.
It took me quite awhile (more than several chapters) to feel my way into this read, but that was my fault as I did not read the first book in the series. This story packs a punch with something happening on every page. Fort is a character to cheer for and has more than just a little trouble to deal with. His situation hits full force right away and builds tension with every turn of the page. There are many surprises as the mystery deepens and more questions arise. The plot is well woven and draws in.
The characters have personality, and the dialogue brings them to life. Each one has intriguing aspects, and some are simply easy to dislike.
While this is a dragon story, it takes place in a more modern world...something my own son isn't a huge fan of. But the story definitely isn't boring and the writing sits. It's a bit heavy for more reluctant readers, but fantasy fans are sure to enjoy it. This isn't a light read but does hold darker moments. I'd recommend it more for the upper middle grade audience (grade 5 and up) since sensitive readers and younger readers might feel a bit uncomfortable at moments.
I received an ARC copy and enjoyed this tale enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.
It’s been six months since the attack that took Fort’s father from him, but the recent hope that his father might be alive has given Fort a goal. Rescuing him is all Fort thinks about, and now he has a plan to steal the magic book he needs. But complications come from unexpected places, including a new roommate he is expected to spend all his time helping. Then there are the nightmares where the Old One promises Fort his father back in exchange for the last dragon. Can Fort find the last dragon? Should he make the trade? Or will his original plan work?
For me, it had been six months since I read the first book in this series, so it was nice to see how this book eased us back into Fort’s world without slowing down the action. I was soon caught back up in his story. I do find the tone a little darker than author James Riley’s previous books and I miss the lighter tones those books had. Still, that’s a minor complaint as I raced through this book to find out what happened next. I enjoyed seeing Fort grow and his relationship with his friends change. In fact, I found those relationships something that helped ground the book since they dealt with some stuff realistically. I will definitely be back for more. How can I not come back after the ending of this book?
First off, this is book two in the series and I did not read the first one. Luckily, the author does a great job of releasing info so that the reader fully understands what came before. However, some of the things he mentions seem really cool and I wish I'd read the first book. So my recommendation is to read the first one.
The story starts off with Fort now at the new Oppenheimer school for magical kids. He can't forget that his father was taken in the last book, so the entire theme of this second book is to find and recover dad. Everything Fort does is to accomplish this goal. The story starts a bit slow and I had to push myself to keep reading so I could get to the juicy stuff. Once the story gets rolling, I went along for the ride and loved Fort's adventure into another universe to rescue his dad.
There is a great twist that took me by surprise and loyal friends to save the day. I enjoyed the story and can't wait to see what happens in book 3. I'm giving it 4 stars!
I don't think I'm in the headspace for middle grade lately, so I think I'm going to put this series down. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, I loved the concepts and was enjoying some of the characters, but I think I'm going to take a break from middle grade since I'm more in an adult mood. Not sure if I'll get back into this series or not, but I'm happy I at least tried it.
Forsythe Fitzgerald, Fort to his friends, is a little nervous about starting over at the Oppenheimer School. To start, it's a whole new school, since the one he started at only a few weeks ago was destroyed in an attack by the Old Ones which he helped to thwart. But now he has to juggle strict orders to make friends with his new roommate, trying to steal two books of magic and lying to his three best friends about his motives, all while under constant guard by Colonel Charles' soldiers. Plus, he's staying in psychic contact with a couple of former Oppenheimer students who are on the run, being hunted by government agents who suspect that Fort knows more than he's letting on. Topping it all, he's secretly planning to open a portal into a dimension crammed with terrifying monsters and saving his father, who has been missing for eight months, though he risks unleashing quite literal hell on earth. His clairvoyant friend Cyrus tells him there are several ways this can play out: Either he lets his friends come along on the rescue mission, in which case he'll lose one of them forever; or he goes on his own, and most likely doesn't come back. But he's all right with that, as long as he rescues his father. Except for the nightmares. Whoa, those nightmares!
A recurring theme in those nightmares is a flat order from one of the Old Ones to bring them the last dragon. He has no idea what they're talking about. The only dragons Fort knows about are skeletons, recovered along with the bones of ancient wizards and the books of magic that were all discovered on the same day, May 9, 13 years ago, at locations all around the world. But the nightmares are insistent. Well, to cut this synopsis short, Fort does manage to steal the book of Summoning magic that will enable him to open a portal to the monsters' dimension, though he loses most of his friends in the process. (Don't worry, they're all right. Just really mad at him.) And he does eventually master a spell from that book, which unlocks the level where he can do the dimensional portal thing. But pretty much everything after that happens despite all his plans. His friends come back and insist on helping him, despite the danger. And thanks to them, everything in existence is threatened once again.
In another adventure that strains the limits of middle school-friendly fiction, Fort and friends meet gigantic, savage creatures, and millions of brainwashed dwarves, and Lovecraftian elder gods with all the eldritch horror that surrounds them. They experience a threat to all humanity, mind-destroying psychic forces, life-size pinball games with teleportation portals instead of bumpers and themselves as the ball, and chit-chats with beings capable of squashing them like bugs – not to mention a cruel betrayal, a heartbreaking decision and (in Fort's case) what another character acerbically describes as a round-the-world joyride on a dragon, in front of every news camera in the developed world. And even if (spoiler warning) the world doesn't end in this book, Fort's group won't have long to bask in their success before another weird, magical threat arises.
Even though Fort only really masters one spell in this book – bringing his total, after the events of the previous installment, to one – he quickly develops into a power user of what seems likely to be his (almost) unique ability going into the future. It serves him well in an adventure that seems to race forward with a relentless pace of action, danger, colossal magic and teen (or pre-teen) attitude. It's loaded with emotional issues kids will understand, dry humor, picture-postcard scenery and, at the center, a passionately driven, rule-breaking brat with a heart of gold. You might want to grab Fort and shake some sense into him, but only because you care.
This is the second of five "Revenge of Magic" books, whose titles also include The Revenge of Magic, The Future King, The Timeless One and The Chosen One. Riley is also the author of three "Half Upon a Time" and five "Story Thieves" books.
You can read my full review on my blog, The Writerly Way, here.
The Last Dragon is book two in the series and has … (spoiler) dragons! This book doubles down on the magic, and the kids have to kick butt and save the world! There are also beasts attacking … but Washington is spared this time. They’re welcome.
- We’re back with the same lovable characters from the first, but they seem a little more confident now. This book really tests their friendship, and I understood all sides of the issue, but boy was it hard to see the group fractured. But you know, sometimes things have to break in order to become stronger. There’s a new book of magic in this, and I don’t want to spoil anything about it, so I’ll just say that yes, this is a type of magic I’d learn.
- This book doubles down on the fantasy aspect and shows us a whole new world, which I absolutely loved. The Old Ones are back again, with some of their greatest hits, except now the fight comes to them. I’m trying hard not to give any spoilers away, so all that I’ll say is portals are involved. And magic. I think you’ve probably figured that out by now. And a world that is terrifying, but also fascinating. The threat from the first book is amped up, but so are our intrepid heroes, who team up with new friends to take down baddies. Or, you know, to blunder their way through and hopefully not die. That works, too.
- While Sebastian is largely dropped in this book (which is a shame, because I loved his aloof self), there’s a new main character, who presents an interesting mystery. His name is Gabriel, and that’s about all that Fort knows about him.I will say that, in the end, I didn’t entirely love what was done with Gabriel’s character. I was immediately attracted to him from the start, and by the end … eh. I think he’s meant to be a foil of Fort, but his arc just wasn’t strong enough for me, personally. I did love his addition to the group, though I’m undecided as to whether I want to see more of him or not. Probably not, which makes me sad, but what can you do?
- Where the last book tackled revenge vs. justice, this book tackles how far you’d go for someone you love. It’s such an interesting question, and while I didn’t love how it was handled here, I do think it would be relatable for middle grade readers. I thought it was a nice touch where the “hero” isn’t always noble. I mean, heck, he’s just a kid who’s now lost two parents. Choices are hard even under the best circumstances, and these are not the best circumstances.
- Fort’s entire character and personality in this revolved around his desire to get his father back, to the detriment of everything else. While I enjoyed the strong family ties in the first book (and certainly, yes, I want Fort’s father back and more of his character, because he’s fantastic), this wasn’t enough of a driving factor for me, and Fort’s character sort of stagnated. Also, boy was he freaking hypocritical. I wanted to love him as much in this book as I did in the first book, but I just … didn’t. There’s some hints at his character arc, so I have hope that he’ll continue to grow into a character I can love again, but this ain’t it. I will admit, though, that the mid-grade readers this is targeted to probably won’t have the same issues with his character that I do.
My name is Fort, and I'm determined to find a way to rescue my father from the world of the Old Ones. The only downside is betraying my friends and possibly destroying all of humanity. My plan involves stealing the Summoning book and opening a portal to the other world. Unfortunately, opening the portal will also allow monsters to return to Earth and unleash their fury and revenge upon us. That's how my father disappeared in the first place. The tricky part of my plan is trying to master the Summoning spell while avoiding my new roomate Gabriel. I can't believe how he treats the guards and staff, and he seems overly curious about what I'm doing. I can't let my dangerous plans hurt anyone else, so I need to somehow sneak away on my own.
You really need to read the first book in the series, The Revenge of Magic, to fully understand this one. I really hate the number of times I read about characters deceiving their friends and endangering the world. Why can't they learn? Answer, to create entertaining stories, although it's an all too common factor in book plots. Fort feels responsible for his father's disappearance in the first book even though there was absolutely nothing he could have done about it. For that lame reason, he's willing to risk the survival of all mankind. This second book doesn't have the budding camraderie I enjoyed in the first one, and I miss it. Even Sierra's presence in Fort's mind is removed after her early assistance. The first book implied Fort has minor magical power due to his birthday, but he gets pretty good at teleportation in this book. I like the fact that no single character is all-powerful, and this even applies to the Old Ones. The story shares a lot of information about the other world and explains the overall problem in the series. That detail was fuzzy after the first book. Overall, I'm enjoying the series and hope to read the third one as soon as my local library reopens. It's a victim of the Coronvirus.
Six months after his last adventure, Fort still hasn't freed his father from the Old Ones. He's still trying to learn more magic, having learned that Healing Magic is the way to beat the Old Ones. Still, he's having a very hard time of it -- he still really only knows two spells, one a simple Healing spell, and creating a Teleportation circle to places he's already seen.
He gets a new roommate at the Oppenheimer School, where teens with a certain birthdate are busy learning magic from the mysterious Books of Magic. They're trying to prepare to fight the Old Ones, who want to take back the Earth.
But Gabriel is an odd duck. He's a hulking bully, yet oddly at times disinterested in heaping pain on Fort, and even sometimes helpful to Fort, for seemingly random reasons.
Until Fort learns Gabriel is General Charles' son. Not that anyone would know it, the way the General treats him. And General Charles is as obsessed as he is about fighting the Old Ones so he can get his other son, Michael, back from them.
Which is what Gabriel is bound and determined to do. The boys discover they have a common goal: learn magic and rescue someone they love.
At first, it seems like their objectives meet up, and they're allies of sorts. Until their objectives veer in different directions and soon Fort is fighting Gabriel to bring his father home.
Jia, Rachel, Sierra and Cyrus are all in this fight as well, as is Damian -- I won't ruin the plot twists!
Just know, by the end, Gabriel is even more determined than ever to defeat Fort, who's quickly making more enemies the longer he stays at the Oppenheimer School.
And the end is the perfect set-up for a Book 3.
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, summonings, backstabbings, and reunions: How The Last Dragon addresses the Magic of Second Chances.
This review is a spoiler. Or more like, a casual examination of the characters and themes. Cause I'm a nerd.
As in book 1, a scene or two in this second book again brings to mind the brackish imagery of Stranger Things, particularly in the unfathomable otherworldly chaos strewn within claustrophobic concrete hallways.
Reader thoughts: Fort was too angry and selfish in this book. His goal was to save his father at the expense of his friends, his integrity, and the world. Seriously. He was willing to burn the world if it meant he had a chance to save his father. He lied to his friends, stole magical artifacts, went where he wasn't allowed, endangered his friends and strangers, lied to a dragon, snuck around, and lied some more in order to have the possibility of saving his father.
I expected the students to spend more time practicing magic, reading and casting the one or two spells they knew in order to master them. I also wanted Fort to spend more time trying to decode the language of spells, and he didn't. The student spent more time planning a heist and bullying each other (seriously, why are students allowed to use their magic against each other without repercussions?) than studying.
Writer thoughts: I like dedicated characters who are motivated and have goals. Why didn't that work here?
I think it was because Fort was no longer a character I could cheer for. In pursuing his goal, he broke too many values that I hold dear. Lying again and again is distasteful enough. When he endangered the entire world for his own gain, I couldn't support his struggle and no longer cared about his success and only wanted him to fail.
I received this e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
This sequel picks up shortly after the events of The Revenge of Magic. The Oppenheimer School has been relocated to another top secret location. Fort is having nightmares about the day his father was taken. The dreams ends with the Old One demanding the location of the last dragon. Fort has no idea where that could be. Cyrus, Fort’s best friend, is being transferred to the U.K. school and Fort is moved to a new section of the school with a new roommate. Gabriel is very good at keeping secrets, Fort’s as well as his own. Gabriel is also tormented by nightmares each evening but does not share the details with his new roomie. Fort is supposed to be tutoring Gabriel to catch him up to the level 2 students and finds out that Gabriel is receiving special treatment. He can look at the magic books any time he wants, not just in class. Fort, believing his father is still alive, hatches a plan to rescue him. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan and loyalties are tested.
There is a lot of action in this sequel and it turns a bit darker. Fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson will definitely enjoy this series. I won’t tell you how it ends but there will be another book after this one. Because of the darker turn, I would recommend this book for grade 4 and up.
The Last Dragon continues on with Fort and the gang causing a bit of mischief and trying their best to save the world. To kind of recap book one Fort finds out after an attach on the monuments where he was with his father that there is a way to do magic. The only thing is that you have to use a certain set of books that the governments around the world found along with the skeleton of a dragon and it's rider. Another thing is that only kids born after discovery day can actually use this magic, but Fort was born before, so why is it he being taken to the Oppenheimer school.
So some things happened in book one and now Fort has a new roommate and he isn't real sure. He doesn't know if he can trust him because he seems to be kind of privileged. Fort has an idea to do something to help rescue someone that he finds out might be in another dimension. He also things it's best if he does it on his own, but of course things don't happen how he hoped and things go a bit wrong.
This series is a lot of fun and I think young readers would really enjoy it!
Very imaginative! I wish there were more books for adults with this level of imagination. Seems like everyone likes to write a book for adults on one basic theme and that is it. It can be sci-fi, fantasy, mysteries, even thrillers, they all are based around an unrealistic romantic triangle.
My only complaint with the series thus far is that while I remember being 13, I no longer can truly identify with it. I vaguely recall feeling invincible, and that every choice is a great choice until it turns out to be the wrong choice. But at 13 your really just learning to regret and it doesn't stick long. They also don't seem to realize that there is a whole future of regrets ahead of them. They live for the moment and adults tend live for the future.
The series thus far has still been good and I'll continue to read the rest.
The second book in the Revenge of Magic Series, this one pick's up shortly after the first one ended. Continuing the story of Ford and his friends along with a new kid named Gabriel, Ford's new roommate, the group works together to put into motion a new plan based on shocking information learned at the end of the last book while keeping it a secret from adults.
By the time I finished reading this book, I was tired of it. I found that I had kept reading it not because I wanted to see how it ended, but because I had started it so I might as well keep reading. It feels like a lot of story beats were repeated from the first book, only with a different focus of magic this time. It wasn't poorly written, but it wasn't written great either.
The Last Dragon, book two from The Revenge of Magic series, is a great read. I loved the first book and this one does not disappoint. Fort’s story is full of action and adventure. I found his determination and courage to be admirable. I had the whole book read in just a few hours. I am giving The Last Dragon five plus stars. I look forward to the next addition to the series to see what happens next with Fort. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
This was much better than the first book. Still a lot of mental brooding (feels a bit like the brooding Harry Potter periods) and shuffling around without adding meaningfully to the characters or world development. Thankfully, the latter half of the book sees more crazy stuff happen to progress the story line. I don't plan on reading more in the series, as the next is just publishing this year and not available at local library, thus an excuse to take a break from reading this series at bedtime with my boys.
The search for the last dragon and the Old ones continues in book 2. A new character is introduced and hints to his identity are provided along the journey. Surprise ending with who Gabriel is and who the Last Dragon turns out to be. Cliffhanger ending to move to Book 3. Riley's writing style has certainly evolved and he spins out the action and suspense equally. His characters are flawed and human and relatable.
I enjoyed this story quite a bit. The interactions between Fort and his friends seemed realistic considering the situations. I feel bad about what happens at the end, and hope book 3 resolves some of the issues that came up with Fort and his friends (both old and new). What happened at the end made me really look forward to book 3.
quite entertaining , nothing extraordinary compared to the previous series J.Riley wrote or the 1st t book of the series. Fun read nonetheless, will read the next one too, which looks to have a better plot even tho i don't like "time" stuff (which happens to be the plot of the book i didn't like in the previous series). Time to read his 1st series.
Series review: Another fantastical entertaining story by James Riley. There is lots of action, some interesting characters and an unexpected ending. My biggest complaint is that I never really liked or connected to the main character. However, his weaknesses and commonality did make him more believable in some ways. No questionable content. Appropriate for all ages