Author Brandon Mull starts this new fantasy adventure series from Scholastic. In the world of Erdas the four lands of Eura, Nilo, Zhong, and Amaya have lived in peace for hundreds of years. In this world when people turn eleven they are allowed to drink a special nectar that can allow them to summon and bond with a spirit animal. In all four lands four children have managed to summon four spirit animals of legend: Briggan the wolf, Uraza the leopard, Jhi the panda, and Essix the falcon. Their coming is not a moment too soon, for an old evil is returning to the world and the only way to stop it is to find the talismans of the Great Beasts or risk losing Erdas to a single dominating rule forever.
Again I've enjoyed Brandon's sense of humor in this book. You don't have to worry about it being a Narnia/Middle-Earth ripoff. The only magical creatures in Erdas are the Spirit Animals. Most of the time when you have humans partnering up with some special critters it's the critters that do the heavy lifting (like in so many of the Digimon series). However in Spirit Animals the humans work with their animals as a team. Both sides get new abilities thanks to their bonds. For further details I'll let you read the book.
Now for lessons we can learn from this book. Beware of those who flatter you because they may have hidden agendas. Teamwork is needed to overcome giant problems. Things may not go the way we want them to, but the way things turn out may be what is best for us. Put your trust in what you know is right.
Rating: Five out of Five stars.