The Book of Secrets: The Ateban Cipher #1– A. L. Tait

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secrets

Hachette

September 2017

9780734417671 | RRP $14.99

So imagine if you will Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men hiding out in Sherwood Forest. Now replace that image with a feisty band of young girls adept in woodcraft, hunting, disguise and escape. This is the group that young Gabriel a naïve and inexperienced novice monk encounters when he is forced to flee his monastery.

When Gabe finds Brother Benedict beaten and bloody and is given a mysterious precious book to keep safe, he is completely at a loss as to what he should do. Strange things are happening in the cloisters of the only home he has known since he was left on the step, a foundling. The Abbott appears to be ill, the Prior is consorting with sinister knights and there are rumours of the Sheriff’s dishonesty.

Taking the advice of Brother Malachy, Gabe flees to the woods where he narrowly escapes capture by the Lord’s men but is rescued by a band of outlaws. These are no ordinary outlaws though. Gwyn, Merry, Scarlett and Midge are all for various reasons living in the woods completely concealed from the outside world.  They survive by their wits and their skills and agree to help Gabe in return for his help.

These are Mighty Girls indeed, undaunted by any obstacle or difficulty and ready to stand and defend not only their own rights but those of others.

A wrongfully imprisoned father, a substituted royal prince, nefarious dealings between lords and church all combine to make this one absolutely top-notch adventure. It will appeal to both boys and girls and they will no doubt not only embrace it but be eager for more.

Highly recommended for readers from around eight years upwards.

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