Book of Nightmares by John Peel © 1997 Book Six of the “Diadem Worlds of Magic”

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    Book of Nightmares (Book Six of the “Diadem  Worlds of Magic” series)   by  John Peel  ©  1997, 2005   Llewellyn Worldwide   ISBN  0-7387-0612-4  177 pages  paperback  $4.99 (U.S.)  $6.50 (Canada) (8- to 12-year-old range)

    This is the sixth book on the “Diadem:  Worlds of Magic” series, originally published by Scholastic, and now reissued by Llewellyn.  Thee three main characters – Score (from modern-day New York City), Helaine (from the medieval world of Ordin) and Pixel (from the advanced world of Colimir) – are once again threatened by both a physical opponent (Destiny, a magic user banished to earth as a traitor by the former rulers of the Diadem) and an unfamiliar environment.  Pixel has been kidnapped by Destiny (see the previous book, Book of Earth, for the background on this) and transported to the world of Zarathan.  Zarathan has some interesting peculiarities, not the least of which is that no one has ever returned from it.

    Once again the youngsters discover more about themselves and their companions.  They continue to mature and learn to trust each other for the support they each need from time to time.

    As I said in my review of the first book in this series, this series isn’t about Wicca or Paganism.  It is pure escapism for the pre-teen set.  It is fun.  The books are easy to read and understand.  There are occasional challenges for the reader to solve, but nothing too hard.

    Overall this series succeeds in what it sets out to do, which is to entertain.  As it was originally published by Scholastic, it consisted of seven volumes (ending with Book of War due out later this year), but Llewellyn has at least one additional volume coming out as well (Book of Ocean).

    The price is low enough that this series is easily affordable, and would make a nice Yule gift (or birthday, or whatever).  In fact, if my children were still in this age bracket, I would give them the books as a “Happy Anyday” present (any day you feel like doing something special for someone).

    If you know a young person who enjoys reading magical fiction, this would make a great gift for summer-time reading.


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