The Grave Robbers of Ghengis Khan: Children of the Lamp, Book 7
It all starts out as a perfectly wonderful vacation through the invitation of Philippa and John’s Uncle Nimrod. Italy is warm and beautiful, and they are looking forward to some relaxing sightseeing. However, Groanin, Nimrod’s marvelous butler, is angry because there is not a decent cup of tea to be had, John complains simply because he dislikes hotels, and Philippa is unhappy to have left her laptop behind. Beyond these things, they are surrounded by the lush and historical landscape, not to mention the fascinating nearby volcano, Vesuvius.
But their peace is totally interrupted when they are awakened by the rumbling and high plumes of smoke coming from the volcano. Soon they receive reports that all volcanoes in the vicinity are looking dangerously active. There is smoke everywhere, and it’s well-nigh impossible to get out of Italy. Nimrod wastes no time in contacting his friend, Professor Sturloson, and his assistant, Axel Heimskringla, who happen to be experts on volcanoes. Arrangements are made, and the next thing the twins know, they are readying themselves for a trip up the side of the volcano. At this point, Groanin decides that he’s had quite enough of dangerous, ridiculous adventures and hands in his resignation. Everyone is soon off in different directions. Little known to any of them, their most dangerous adventures are waiting for them. Though Groanin continues to try to get as far away from Italy as possible, he also encounters some unexpected, most unpleasant detours.
Not just another adventure, this escapade proves to be a turning point in the lives of the djinn twins. Their discoveries reveal that the lava coming from the volcano contains actual gold. Even more puzzling is the fact that every volcano they know of is in the process of becoming dangerously active. Through a series of calculations and geographic know-how, they surmise that possibly the ancient treasures buried with Genghis Khan might be part of the reason for these eruptions --- and their next stop will be to find the grave of the Khan and see if grave robbers have been involved in a world-wide disruption of the volcanoes. If this all sounds complex, it certainly is --- and very scary.
What is ultimately asked of the twins is more than they have expected. There are also several situations that have led them to believe that their beloved uncle is involved in a most horrible deception to use them for his own means. Despite the great fun of riding on a magical carpet with Uncle Nimrod, despite Philippa’s growing interest in the handsome young Axel, despite the repeated threats to their lives and their own growing suspicions, the djinn twins are totally surprised, as will be the reader, at the sacrifice they will be forced to make at the mouth of the steaming volcano.
Sad to say, this marks the conclusion of the Children of the Lamp series. Fortunately, P.B. Kerr does not let up for a minute. Poor Groanin is kidnapped (among other things), two very important characters meet a terribly sad end, Uncle Nimrod meets up with his wife (a story in itself), John spends some time “inside” a camel (ugh), and the twins, well, what can one say? You must read the book to find out what happens to them. THE GRAVE ROBBERS OF GENGHIS KHAN ends this series with a real “Bang!”
Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts on March 23, 2012