(Book 2 for Once Upon a Time)
Grimpow : The Invisible Road by Rafael Abalos.
Hardcover: 452 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press (2007)
From School Library Journal
When a 14th-century peasant boy stumbles onto a mysterious corpse, his life is inexorably altered. From the hand of the dead knight, Grimpow extracts a talisman that turns out to be no less than the famed philosopher's stone over which kings and popes have tortured and killed in order to gain its possession and its powers. Hiding from the Inquisition in a local abbey, Grimpow discovers that the stone enables him to read and learn at a remarkable pace, but he is filled with the sense that he must fulfill a quest begun by the mysterious knight. Setting out as squire to a dashing young noble, Grimpow must not only solve riddles posed by the stone, but also survive brutal battles to keep it. This attempt at high fantasy leans heavily on the current fascination for tales of the Knights Templar, enigmatic quests, and young boys with special powers. However, a plodding story line that weaves in too many threads (the Inquisition, Copernican and Galilean theories of astronomy and alchemy, among others) without explanation will leave readers baffled and struggling to make sense of all the drama. Add an abrupt and unsatisfying ending and this becomes, at best, an additional purchase.—Sharon Grover
This book has been sitting in the tbr pile so long that I don't even remember "how long"!
There was quite a bit about this book that I enjoyed. Things involved in the book are: The Philosophers Stone, Monks, Castles, Knights , a huge mystery: in search of Wisdom, the Secret of the Wise. To use a quote: Wisdom rises from the ashes and leads humanity to a new future". Much more interesting then searching for a treasure of wealth.
Most of this book I really enjoyed, but sadly I have to agree with the Amazon review saying that "an abrupt and unsatisfying ending" was the only thing that damped an otherwise enjoyable book. I guess in it's defense I have to tell you that the book is a "translation from Spanish"... so something might have gotten lost in the translation.
On the plus side the characters were interesting and the author made some unexpected secrets about them along the way which made the book a good read despite the ending.