The Adventurers Guild

CLARK, Zack Loran & . 320p. Disney-Hyperion. Oct. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781484788011.
Gr 5–8—Ever since the Day of Dangers, when the land of Ferryn was attacked by monsters, the city of Freestone has been protected by wards of the Adventurers Guild. Zed and his friend Brock are anxious for the Guildculling, when those who have come of age will be assigned to one of the Guilds. Zed, who is an elf-blooded boy, hopes to be chosen as a Mage. Brock, whose parents are members of the Merchants Guild, expects to become a Merchant as well. Neither of them wants to be a Knight or a Healer—and certainly not an Adventurer, the most dangerous job of all. But both find themselves chosen by the Adventurers Guild; Zed snatched from the Mages, and Brock pressed into spying for the Merchants. Along with Jett and Liza, their fellow apprentices, they face a daunting initiation: they must survive the night outside the protected city walls. The initiation turns dangerous when monsters attack and Jett is paralyzed, while Zed discovers he possesses an innate ability to sense and use magic—and forbidden magic, at that. As the Adventurers' wards begin to fail, the apprentices must uncover the traitor and save their city. This first installment in a new series offers a solidly constructed world, endearing characters, and lots of fantasy-based adventure with fast-paced action.
VERDICT Hand this to fans of Angie Sage's "Septimus Heap" and Brandon Mull's "Fablehaven" series; the ending will leave readers anxious for the sequel.

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