Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

mysteries more puzzling than ever - The Dragon’s Gate (The Chronicles of the Black Tulip #2) by Barry Wolverton

"In his signature style, Wolverton cleverly overlays intricate plotting with ancient Chinese legends and history (including the Dragon Boat Festival and the Terracotta Warriors) and creates a thrilling, fast-paced story that flies by. Fans will wait with bated breath for the third book in the trilogy." -- Kirkus


An engrossing fantasy, a high-seas adventure, an alternate history epic—this is the richly imagined and gorgeously realized second book in acclaimed author Barry Wolverton’s Chronicles of the Black Tulip, perfect for fans of The Glass Sentence and the Books of Beginning series.

A magical white jade stone and a map inscribed in bone that may be the key to an even greater mystery—this is the treasure Bren and Mouse have found buried on the Vanishing Island.

Mouse is determined to follow the map to a place called the Dragon’s Gate, convinced it will explain who she really is and the powers she possesses. Bren has had enough adventure for one lifetime and would like nothing more than to return to his father in Map. But nothing goes according to plan when the survivors of the Albatross are rescued by Lady Jean Barrett, a charismatic archaeologist with a sense of destiny.

Barrett is on a quest for the Eight Immortals, ancient artifacts she believes are buried in the tomb of China’s first emperor—the location of which has been hidden for nearly two thousand years. The only way for Bren, Mouse, and Barrett to all get what they want is to work together on a dangerous journey into the heart of China, a kingdom long closed to outsiders, where the greatest secrets about Mouse and Bren are waiting to be unveiled.

"More mystical artifacts, wild things, and mysteries more puzzling than ever. This second installment picks up right where The Vanishing Island left off, and fills in enough blanks to remind readers of Bren's last perilous adventure. Pick this up to keep readers on the hook for the upcoming third book."-- Booklist


The stories that had the biggest influence on my, first and foremost, were animal stories: Uncle Wiggily, The Jungle Book, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Stuart Little, to name a few favorites. These had a more direct influence on my first book, NEVERSINK, but my love of animals definitely carries over into THE VANISHING ISLAND and THE DRAGON’S GATE, too, with certain characters have an affinity for or the ability to become animals (something I always really wanted to do as a kid!). 

When I got a little older, I sort of got bored with reading until I discovered fantasy and sci-fi, especially Piers Anthony’s Xanth books and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars series. But really, the thing that fueled my imagination most was Dungeons & Dragons. I was so blown away by this fantasy world the inventors had created, and not only did I love playing the game, I loved sitting and reading the manuals and game modules. Probably the first story I ever wrote was a rather poor attempt to write my own module, which if I remember correctly involved robbing a tomb. 

Grades 7-9 were my biggest D&D days, during which I attended a Presbyterian Day School. My math teacher banned the books when she saw us reading the Monster Manual with a big demon on the front, and I expected to get in trouble at home, too. But my mother was furious — at the teacher! First and foremost, she was thrilled I was reading again, and secondly, she didn’t like the teacher presuming that I hadn’t had enough moral education at home to know the difference between fantasy and reality. And that’s the final influence on this series — Bren’s loss of his mother. I didn’t lose my mom at so young an age, but she did pass away before she had the chance to see me publish my first book, which is painful for me to this day. 
About the author:
I have been writing for children for 20 years, helping create books, documentary television, and online content for Discovery Networks, National Geographic, the Library of Congress, Scholastic, and Time-Life Books, among others. Inspired by authors such as Lewis Carroll and Mark Twain, as well as folk tales and mythology from around the world, I love to combine wordplay and humor with dramatic plots to create rich narrative worlds for readers.

My debut novel, NEVERSINK, was named the Children’s Book of Choice by Literacy Mid-South for their Read Across America program in 2014. The first book in THE VANISHING ISLAND trilogy is available now.

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