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Reviewed by Stephanie Dagg for Readers' Favorite
"The Wicked Passage" by N M Singel is an inventive mix of fantasy and history for young adults. Blake Wyatt just wants the school day to end but then his very odd substitute teacher has to go and reveal that Blake and his sister Erica are Sapphire Travelers. They inherited this legacy from their father, who died many years ago. Now Blake finds himself in charge of an ancient book, "The Chronicle of the Rellium", which he mustn’t on any account open. So what is the first thing he does, thinking this is all just nonsense? Suddenly Blake finds he is having to protect one of the world’s greatest explorers, Christopher Columbus, from the evil Dragonblud of the wicked Tolucan empire. Dragonblud is out to destroy history and needs the Chronicle in order to do that. But he reckoned without such smart, feisty opponents. Erica is every bit as tough as her brother, and with the magical help of someone from their own past, they battle evil. Determination is a key element in this story. It is not going to be easy for Dragonblud.
This is a very entertaining and exciting book, really well-written with lots of clever touches in the language and the twisting plot. We get parabulls and talking bull dogs, and the Chronicle itself has quite a lot to say too. All the characters are complex and realistic and develop through the story. There is a lot of action in the form of storms, murder attempts and imprisonment, to give but a few examples. It is the sort of book that once you start reading, you can’t stop. It is gripping, original and very, very good.