Jazzy Reviews: ‘The Mapmaker Chronicles: Beyond the Edge of the Map’
Quinn heard an awe-inspiring sound from above and his blood seemed to freeze under his skin. Hardly daring to do so, he looked up and there was the big cat, perched on the edge of their sea cave, roaring out into the twilight like a general calling his warriors to arms.
The cats on the beach began to bound towards them.
A.L. Tait’s much anticipated addition to ‘The Mapmaker Chronicles’ series is finally here!
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‘The Mapmaker Chronicles’ are about a young hero named Quinn Freeman who races against the greedy and the cruel to create a map of the world. Quinn has battled pirates, dragons, sea monsters and more.
In the fourth novel of the series, Quinn has returned home and is living an uneventful life with his large family. But not for long. He is kidnapped and flees the mysterious King Ivo’s henchmen. He must return to the seas to live life on the run and complete the map for King Orel. And no longer would he be under the safe wing of his trainer, the feared Zain; this time his only travel companions are two of his inexperienced brothers, Jed and Allyn. Quinn has a gift: He has a phenomenal memory which served him well in the Great Race, but now people want to exploit it as he hurries to find the missing part of the map. Quinn meets lions, a monster shark and an old enemy while battling starvation and thirst.
While this is a self-contained story, I recommend readers go back to where it all began in book one: ‘Race to the End of the World’. In doing this, readers will have a greater understanding of how the characters have developed. You can check out my review of the first tale here. Each has grown up throughout the series. Quinn is now 15 years old and much braver, while his friend Ash (aka Aysha) is 16. The two have a strong friendship which may bloom in later books.
Central to the storyline is how the friendship between the brothers grows as the journey carries on. There has always been a lot of rivalry between them but when it comes to survival they work really well together. Jed and Allyn start to appreciate Quinn who was once called ‘the runt’ by his dad.
One of the things I like best about ‘The Mapmaker Chronicles’ is that it is not pitched at boys or girls – I think it is an all-round, maritime fantasy series.
The story is left a little open-ended, leaving the reader with the promise of a future quest for Quinn. The simple language makes this accessible for younger readers who enjoy a more complex storyline. There is mild violence so I recommend this book to children aged 9+.
A.L. Tait has done a brilliant job piecing together a story full of surprises and climaxes which makes it one terrific, fast-paced tale of survival. The scene with the lions was gripping and a page-turner. The characters’ personalities are realistic and I enjoyed the fun and games between the brothers. I give ‘The Mapmaker Chronicles: Beyond the Edge of the Map’ four-and-a-half bookbolts out of five.