Book 1 in the Seven Stars Trilogy
By all accounts, Jack Lawson was a normal British teenager. He had few friends, no love life, and a horde of embittered teachers who seemed to be after his blood on a regular basis. In his Birchford home, a centuries old overflow prison–turned–orphanage, life was excruciatingly mundane.
Then came the Cult of Dionysus, a sect of sorcerers at the head of an encroaching Darkness.
Then an old friend back from the dead.
And then the white fox.
Suddenly life wasn’t so mundane anymore.
"British university student Bartholomeusz capably executes a familiar premise in his strong debut, first in a planned trilogy and the launch title from Medallion’s YA-YA imprint, offering books for teens written by teens. Sixteen-year-old orphan Jack Lawson and his friend Lucy have only just noticed the ominous hooded figures and the incandescent white fox lurking about their humdrum town of Birchford, England, when they are attacked by the evil Cult of Dionysus, believed to be sorcerers seeking 'nothing less than the domination of as many worlds as possible.' The pragmatically manipulative Apollonians rescue the teens and transport them through time and space to the planet Rauthr, where elves fight off demons risen from fiery depths, shards of fallen stars provide magical powers, a creeping 'Darkness' threatens to consume the universe, and broad strokes of foreshadowing hint that all is not as it appears to be. Adeptly incorporating the tropes of epic fiction, Bartholomeusz assembles his likably prickly cast and prepares them for adventure amid echoes of Tolkien, Lewis, and Rick Riordan."
~ Publishers Weekly
“In the tradition of Christopher Paolini, Garth Nix, and Jonathan Stroud, Bartholomeusz—a teen at the time of writing—builds an epic adventure that includes a somewhat disaffected contemporary British teen boy, Jack; an engaging white fox who provides something between guidance and companionship; and an intricate plane inhabited by mythic creatures ranging from elves to demigods. The writing is polished and the scenes are vivid. . . . Fantasy-saga devotees will want to give Jack a try as he wends way, gaining and losing friends, encountering potential romantic interests, and fighting for peace of mind about his future safety.”
~ Francisca Goldsmith, Booklist