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The Dark Hills Divide: The Land of Elyon, Book 1

Review

The Dark Hills Divide: The Land of Elyon, Book 1

Welcome to the land of Elyon, where the sun shines strong and hot, where people travel by horse and carriage, and where no one --- absolutely no one --- steps an inch outside the wall. This 42-foot-high wall not only encircles the four towns of Elyon, but also the roads that connect the towns. The purpose of the wall? To keep out the dangers lurking in the hills and forests. But to 12-year-old Alexa Daley, the wall is an inconvenient barricade standing between her and the forbidden adventure and mysterious excitement offered on the outside.

As she and her father, one of the town mayors, travel to his annual meeting, Alexa decides that this is the year she'll find a way to escape. She already knows the town inside out (well, inside anyway) from years of exploring. But if only she can luck out with a hint, or discover a clue to get started, she's sure that she'll find a way outside the wall. Then Alexa stumbles upon a key that opens the door to an adventure of a lifetime --- and sheds light on a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in Elyon.

THE DARK HILLS DIVIDE, Patrick Carman's first novel, is a rare and valuable gem. Filled with mysterious clues, secret passageways, hidden maps, sneaks and spies, and a magic stone that allows Alexa to speak with the wild animals, this story will thrill anyone willing to travel through the pages of Elyon. Carman has a wonderful sense of humor that spices up his characters and gives a lighthearted feel to a sometimes dangerous mission. His amazing descriptive talents will have readers shuddering with fear as Alexa squeezes through a tiny tunnel, moaning with sympathy for her aching blisters and breathless with awe as she dives for the glowing stone.

An added bonus to this enchanting tale is the promise of continuing Alexa's adventures in a sequel, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THORNS, which is due out in August.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on February 1, 2005

The Dark Hills Divide: The Land of Elyon, Book 1
by Patrick Carman

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2005
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic
  • ISBN-10: 0439700930
  • ISBN-13: 9780439700931