Death of a King


Young Alex Macpherson time-travels to medieval Scotland in a quest to discover why his parents have disappeared into the 13th century – and if they are still alive. King Alexander has died under mysterious circumstances, and William Wallace is battling for Scotland’s freedom. The country is in chaos. Alex and his friends, both medieval and modern, face daunting obstacles in a story filled with action, adventure, danger, and mystery. Alex plays a heroic, pivotal role in the Battle of Stirling Bridge, and readers will cheer for his courage and stamina in struggling against overwhelming odds that would probably defeat a lesser boy.

There are a few jarring anachronisms, but the real problem with Death of a King is that it does not stand alone. It follows Vanderwal’s The Battle for Duncragglin, and it may be a good idea to read the two books in order. Death of a King indicates that Alex travels through time, but it does not show how he does it until very late in the book. Alex’s parents appear briefly in the prologue, but it is hard for the reader to care much about them, as they are not seen again until very late in the story, in an oddly unemotional reunion with Alex. Younger readers will probably enjoy this story for the historical derring-do and the spine-tingling time-travel method, especially if they have already read the first book.

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(US) 9781770493988