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Bloodstone: Legend of Ironheart by Allan Boroughs

After a year travelling the globe as an apprentice to Verity Brown, India Bentley falls into trouble when she's accused of trying to assassinate a priest. She's rescued by Professor Moon, who needs her and Verity to help him find the mysterious Bloodstone. As the trio, plus a few companions, journey to Atlantis, India is plunged into an adventure even more dangerous and exciting than her first one was.

Bloodstone: Legend of Ironheart by Allan Boroughs

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Sequel to the enjoyable adventure Ironheart is a huge step up, hitting the perfect mix of action, humour and emotional moments. Massively recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1447236009

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I loved the world-building in ronheart, the first in this series, and thought that it was a well-paced story with lots of action. In addition, India was an excellent heroine. However, I was less impressed by the rest of the cast, although I said that villain Sid the Kid and India’s mentor Verity both got some interesting character development towards the end.

I’m really pleased to say that the characterisation makes this a huge step up from the first book. The relationship deepens between India and Verity, making the older tech-hunter more interesting, while the returning Sid is much more complex and well-rounded than he was for most of Bloodstone. There are also some fantastic new characters, with the standouts being Cael, who provides a wonderful potential love interest, and entertaining sparring partner, for Verity, and Tito, whose slightly dubious grasp of English idioms is hilarious but who is also a really wonderfully portrayed young boy.

As exciting as the first book was, this is even more so - it's packed full of great moments and the comic relief from Tito is judged perfectly, easing what's nearly unbearable tension at times but never feeling like it's distracting from the plot. India is quickly becoming a favourite main character of mine and her character arc over the course of the two books so far is superb, building to a stunning conclusion here which is really emotional for both her and the reader.

Massively recommended as an early stand-out in what's looking like an incredible year for books for this age range. I can't wait for the third in the series!

Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book.

As I said, this is a superb year for books for 9-12-year-olds (especially ones that can be enjoyed by older readers too!) Upcoming debut The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone will delight fantasy fans, while mystery lovers are spoilt for choice - The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry is a gem from across the Atlantic, while closer to home, I've been lucky enough to read Arsenic For Tea by Robin Stevens already. This sequel to Murder Most Unladylike (Wells & Wong Mystery 1) by Robin Stevens is, like Bloodstone, even better than its predecessor! As well, Jon Mayhew's wonderful Monster Odyssey series, which starts with Monster Odyssey: The Eye Of Neptune by Jon Mayhew continues with Curse of the Ice Serpent - another massively exciting read. You might also like to have a look at Bloodstone: Legend of Ironheart by Allan Boroughs.

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