February 9, 2000

Quest for the Scorpion's Jewel, by Amy Green

What happens when four brave teens set out on a secret mission for their king, only to find out that those they thought were friends may be enemies, and they may have more in common with their enemies than they thought?  A lot of adventure!  Three of these youth were chosen and trained to be members of the elite Youth Guard.  The fourth is a crippled orphan, Jesse, who ends up joining the group when one of the original three is injured and left to heal.  Along the way, Jesse learns a lot about his own character and strength, and that his disability doesn't define him.  The group must learn to recognize each other's strengths and compensate for each other's weaknesses.  They must become a family in order to conquer the enemy they can't quite define and complete the mission they weren't really prepared for.  And they must open themselves to the possibility that there is a God--One who involves Himself in the affairs of men and has a plan for them.  As this book ends, the group is struggling with what they were told their mission was to be, and what it has become.  Will they recognize God's involvement and seek His help before they are all killed by this unclear enemy?

I generally enjoy reading Christian young adult fantasy because it's just good clean fun that I can share with my own teen-aged daughters.  Quest for the Scorpion's Jewel did not disappoint.  The love plot is extremely subtle (not even showing up in this first book of the series, but sure to follow), the spiritual truths are played out in a tangible way, the weapons are arrows and spears rather than guns and bombs, and traits such as honor, devotion, and valor are rewarded.  This series is sure to become a favorite in our house.

**NOTE:  NetGalley and Warner Press provided me an e-copy of this book for review purposes.

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