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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Candlewicke 13 and the Tombstone Forest is a work of fantasy fiction written for young adults by Milan Sergent and forms the second book in the Candlewicke 13 Series. After the events of Curse of the McRavens, our hero Valor is mere minutes from achieving his dream of attending the prestigious school of magic, Mystic Steeples. But just as he and his delightfully morose sister, Doomsy Gloomsy, are about to enroll, they are kidnapped by none other than their own parents. Valor's father, the totally insane Houmas McRaven, is insistent that his family must escape the Grim Warlock's Thirteenth Hour, but his methods set the family on a disastrous adventure into a world of tombstones and monsters.
It was an absolute delight to return to the bizarre, macabre and utterly entertaining world of the McRavens in this latest edition of Candlewicke 13. Valor and Doomsy developed a lot during book one, so it’s wonderful to see their new skills at work as they struggle through the mess their wayward parents have gotten them into now. The mystery of the McRavens continues with fluid prose, immense wit and highly engaging dialogue as author Milan Sergent weaves an intelligent tapestry of ideas. It is masterfully simple for younger readers but has plenty of depth left to explore. In this novel, I particularly enjoyed the role reversal of precocious kids with insane parents, and the amusement park was a truly wild ride. Overall, Candlewicke 13 and the Tombstone Forest is another superb YA fantasy novel, not to be missed.