Are you drawn to middle grade fantasy adventures or young adult fantasy adventures that include the following themes: a magical artifact, a magical creature, a fantastical world, and an unassuming hero? If so, you’ve probably already heard of and read the series “Eragon” by Christopher Paolini, and you’re also probably interested in fantasy adventures like Fablehaven or Harry Potter. If you’ve already read the Inheritance Cycle that “Eragon” started, finished Fablehaven and Dragonwatch now that the final book has been released, and reread the Harry Potter books multiple times, then good news! There’s a sequel coming up to a book that you might have overlooked — and if any of the books we just mentioned intrigued you and entertained you, then you’ll love this one!
“The Accidental Apprentice” was the first book in the Wilderlore series by Amanda Foody; it told the story of Barclay Thorne, an apprentice mushroom farmer who accidentally found himself bonding with a Beast in the Woods and was immediately an outcast. Once Barclay finds new friends in the Woods with their own magical companions and unique abilities, he finds himself growing into his new powers and the magic of his bond with his Beast just in time to face a powerful magical enemy. “The Accidental Apprentice” was full of creative creatures, fanciful situations, thrills, plot twists, and all of the angsty youthful perspective that Harry Potter fans will enjoy!
In the second book that’s being released on February 1 2022, “The Weeping Tide”, Barclay Thorne must adventure once again with his friends and his Beast. According to the Goodreads summary, “Barclay and his friends must save an island city from the Legendary Beast of the Sea in this exciting second book in the Wilderlore series”. This book is particularly recommended for anyone who is partial to “Nevermoor” or “How to Train Your Dragon”.
The summary begins with the following: “Something is wrong at the Sea. The weeping tide, a carnivorous algae bloom, is eating up all the fish. Beasts are terrorizing the nearby Elsewheres. And Lochmordra, the Legendary Beast, is rising at random and swallowing ships whole. Barclay’s teacher, the famous Guardian Keeper Runa Rasgar, has been summoned to investigate, and as her apprentice, Barclay gets to join too. But Runa’s nemesis has also been called to the Sea, and he’s brought apprentices of his own. When the not-so friendly competition between them grows fierce, it’s Barclay—the only one from the Elsewheres—who can’t seem to keep up.”
The competition between the Guardians and their apprentices is an exciting throwback to the competitive games in the first book, which involved candidates competing against each other with their magical skills and their Beasts to win their desired apprenticeships.
The summary continues, saying that “the key to stopping Lochmordra lies in his mythical home, but as the flood of the weeping tide encroaches, time is running out to find it. If the rival groups can’t cast aside old grudges and learn to work together, soon the Sea will be destroyed completely. And all the while Barclay must ask himself: is there truly a place for him in the Wilderlands?” The existential crisis that Barclay is having is once again a nice parallel to Harry Potter’s self-doubts in the popular J.K. Rowling series, and it also adds more depth to the premise.
Although the Wldlerlore series is already exciting and interesting enough to be worth a try, this book would also be a good choice for anyone who loves nautical adventures, deep-sea adventures, marine life, or this exciting new Rick Riordan book inspired by “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. While the first book “The Accidental Apprentice” was entirely land-based, the fact that this new sequel will take readers on a delightful journey to the sea and beyond means that readers will be exposed to even more fascinating and novel creatures!
Are you excited about the next book in this series by Amanda Foody?