The Serpent’s Fury

Puffin Canada. (Royal Guide to Monster Slaying: Bk. 3). Jun. 2021. 352p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780735270152.
Gr 4-6–Rowan and her fearless friends return in this newest series installment. We meet our ragtag group on the way to clear out an infestation of dropbears in the Dunnian Woods. After nearly getting swept away by a stampede of colocolos, small lizard and ratlike creatures, and being attacked by fleeing harpies, it is clear that something else is terrorizing the denizens of the woods. As the troupe continues on to find the source of the unrest, we learn a lot more about Tamarel outside of the royal palace. The group encounters a “witch,” monster poachers, and an exiled sort-of-prince. In their search, Rowan stumbles on a hidden cave with her ceffyl-dwr—the creatures she finds have not been seen in her world for centuries and are almost certainly the cause of this latest unrest among monsters. In the beginning, the author gives a natural overview of the events in the series so far, which serves as a helpful reminder to series veterans or new readers alike. Armstrong skillfully blends different mythologies; fans of Rick Riordan and mythology will appreciate the lesser-known monsters that are featured. Readers will find Rowan’s monster sketchbook, included after the final chapter, helpful in picturing some of the more obscure creatures.
VERDICT This latest entry does the action-packed series justice.

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