‘The Fire Keeper’ is the second ‘Storm Runner’ middle grade fantasy action novel by J.C. Cervantes

firekeeper

Fans of Rick Riordan’s many fantasy series, like the Percy Jackson series (The Lightning Thief) are sure to love many of the series in the “Rick Riordan Presents” imprint. The “Storm Runner” series takes the idea of young heroes who are the offspring of gods and mortals and moves it to New Mexico, where the gods are Mayan. 

In “The Fire Keeper,” the second in the series, Zane Obispo (don’t you just love the name?) has met his father, the fire god Hurakan, and received a special walking cane/spear/staff from him. While Zane’s limp has always been a source of embarrassment to him, it turns out that the apparent handicap is because of his god blood and is an indication of his power. Zane can control fire — albeit to a very limited degree. He and his family live on a secluded tropical island that is protected by magic from notice of the other Mayan gods, who think he is dead. And that’s the way they prefer it.. 

His beloved dog, Rosie, a rescue Dalmatian and Lab mix, has been turned into a hellhound, and she doesn’t always behave. But then, neither does Zane. When a stranger washes ashore claiming to be another offspring of the Mayan gods, Zane learns that what he wrote about his first adventure was published and disseminated so that now, others with magic blood might read it and find him. By doing that, he inadvertently places those other kids in danger. 

When Zane finds out that his father, who had been imprisoned for fathering a half-mortal child, is  to be executed, he is determined to save him. What can Zane do against the strong and powerful gods? Especially when he realizes that the beautiful secluded island is really also a prison? Well,  a few friends and more godborns arrive to help. He also has to decide whether to trust Ren, the new arrival who has left the island with him. And does he trust an old enemy who might just betray him?

The liberal sprinkling of español throughout the story adds an authentic touch to this escapade.Fantasy and action lovers will enjoy the non-stop adventure and danger that Zane and his friends encounter. Incidentally,It might make sense to start with the first excellent entry in the series, “The Storm Runner.” 

Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Rick Riordan Presents, the publisher, for review purposes.

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