In this YA middle-grade fantasy adventure, two time-traveling twins must help defend Vikings against a fearsome dragon.

In this follow-up to The Order of Time (2020), 12-year-old twins Anastasia and Edward Upston and their mentor, Dr. Alfred Gregorian, must answer serious charges from the secret Order of Time, who are time-traveling guardians of history. By preventing Pharaoh Akhenaten’s assassination, the three defendants broke several important rules. A hearing in London goes well; the twins get the chance to be trained and join the Order someday if they pass the entrance exam. A treacherous element in the Order, however, makes the twins’ time-travel test go badly awry, and they find themselves stranded in medieval Denmark. The Vikings they meet, including Erik the Red, explain that they’re in desperate danger from the dragon Nidhogg and his undead army. The only way to defeat them, a shaman says, is to have the broken blade Lykill reforged by its dwarf makers and to reconnoiter the dragon’s lair to discover his weakness; Anastasia joins the first mission and Edward, the second. As the Vikings will face a fierce series of battles, will the travelers complete their tasks in time? In his second series installment, Southall appealingly offers several intriguing elements in addition to the time travel that drives the action. In particular, the secret society with its clandestine procedures, fancy secret locations, centuries-old members, and nifty relics is great fun, as is the school that Anastasia and Edward hope to attend, which offers such fascinating subjects as Preservation of Powerful Artifacts. The twins’ quests are packed with exciting scenes of journeying, discovering, and battling. It should be noted that there’s a fairly significant plot hole involving the twins’ ability to speak and read Norse, but it won’t detract from readers’ enjoyment of the story.

A lively, entertaining time-travel tale that nicely blends history, myth, and adventure.

Pub Date: today


Page Count: 311

Publisher: Seaview Press Holdings

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022


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