A ring. My precious.
Oops. Wrong story.
When the Cahill family was all together there was a ring. A single ring whose great power is never revealed but that a group called the Vespers has been hunting for centuries. Part one of the book gives the origin of the ring and how Gideon Cahill was once friends, and then enemies, of Damien Vesper. Gideon created a serum that enhanced the senses and his children took it; hence, the long line of Cahill geniuses. Part two of the book shows Madeline Cahill trying to connect with her brother only to lose the ring, be accused of lying, and thrown in jail. She is quite the spunky character and manages to escape stealing back the ring from Damien Vesper and creating the Madrigals. Part three is the story of Grace Cahill and her quest to get the ring. She too loses it to a Vesper and must get it back. Part four is Dan and Amy. Yes! I missed Dan. Funny Dan with his wise-cracks and sense of humor. The first three parts seemed so grim. And yes, they are out to find the ring which they just about lose to the Vespers. The character of Fiske shows some warmth and humanity as the three become a family.
This book is written as four different stories by four different authors. The voice changes from one chapter to the next depending on who has written it. In the first chapter the vocabulary is easy to read; whereas the next chapter has more historical references and a higher vocabulary. Readers might get confused with the shifts in time and characters, which explains the higher reading level as compared to the previous books in the series which have reading levels between 4.0 and 4.7. I am all for trying different and creative ways of writing but this doesn't work that well for me. The narration isn't as fluid and clear, but I thought that with the 10 previous books.
The violence in this series gets progressively more realistic. In this book, an innocent man dies as a result of Grace flying into a war zone in search of the ring. Amy shows interest in a boy at her school but there is no romance. She and Dan are too busy trying to solve the 39 clues and find the Cahill ring rather than make friends or boyfriends.
The cursed ring motif goes back to Norwegian mythology. Tolkien must have been a Cahill ; )
Reading Level 6.5
:-) :-) :-) 3 Smileys