Max McDaniels lives a quiet life in the suburbs of Chicago, until the day he stumbles upon a mysterious Celtic tapestry depicting the mythic Cattle Raid of Cooley. Now many strange people are interested in Max and his tapestry. His discovery will lead him to Rowan Academy, a secret school where great things await- fantastic creatures, rigorous training, and his very own observatory within a mansion by the sea. But dark things are waiting, too. When Max learns that priceless artworks and gifted children are disappearing from around the globe, he finds himself in the crossfire of an ancient struggle between good and evil. To survive, he'll have to rely on a shadowy network of agents and mystics, the genius of his roommate, and the frightening power awakening within him. In his debut novel, author-illustrator Henry H. Neff weaves together fantasy, science fiction, mythology and folklore. The result is a spellbinding tale with an unforgettable cast of characters and an unmatched sense of wonder and suspense.
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(211mm x 139mm x 31mm)
Random House Australia
Publisher: Random House Australia
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
When Max McDaniels has a peculiar run-in with an ancient Celtic tapestry, it's not long before he receives a letter of invitation to the mysterious Rowan Academy. It seems that Max carries a bit of old magic in his veins and at Rowan he has a chance to improve such skills within a rigorous academic program. Still, all is not right with the world outside the school. Dark and nasty forces have already kidnapped other potential students and are threatening to come within the boundaries of Rowan to wreak havoc. With his roommate David, a boy of unnaturally powerful talents, Max discovers that the ancient demon Astorath may not be as dead as everyone says and that someone within the academy is a traitor. Comparisons to Harry Potter are inevitable and unfortunate. Though the similarities are often shocking, this title has its own particular tone and flavor. Neff's language is often evocative, incorporating Irish myths like the legend of Cuchulain. Though the scenery feels familiar, the book will connect with its audience. (Fiction. 10-14) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Henry H. Neff
Henry H. Neff is a former management consultant and history teacher from the Chicago area. Today he lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York. THE FIEND AND THE FORGE is his third book. You can visit him at www.henryhneff.com.