Children's Book ReviewsThe Internet Writing Journal, March 2006
The Blue Djinn Of Babylon (Children of the Lamp) by P.B. KerrOrchard Books, February, 2006
Hardcover, 384 pages
Ages 9 - 11
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk
Now that the Gaunt twins Philippa and John have discovered that they -- like their mother -- are actually djinn (See, The Akhenaten Adventure), their lives are about to get even more interesting as they learn more about djinn culture and history. Philippa has learned to play Djinnverso, an ancient dice game in which the players are not allowed to use their djinn powers. When Philippa enters the Djinnverso Tournament, she is framed as a cheater and disqualified. After this disappointment, Philippa then joins with her brother to and their Uncle Nimrod to retrieve the powerful Solomon Grimoire, which must not fall into the hands of evil djinn. The twins, with their loyal protective dogs and Uncle Nimrod, set out to retrieve the book. But their adventure goes horribly wrong when Philippa is kidnapped by the powerful Ayesah, the Blue Djinn of Babylon and the cold-hearted arbiter of justice in the djinn world. The Blue Djinn wants Philippa to be her heir; the longer Philippa stays in the Blue Djinn's magical home, the more cold-hearted and logical she becomes. Now John must travel a dangerous road to Babylon in modern-day, war-torn Iraq to rescue his sister.
With this second book in the Children of the Lamp series, P.B. Kerr has demonstrated that the series has what it takes to become a children's classic. The children are immensely likeable, as are their parents. The story is also peopled with a wide array of fascinating and fun characters which range from a djinn-killer to the elderly djinn Mr. Rakshasas (who prefers mostly to stay inside his lamp, dispensing sage advice as needed) to the grumpy teenage djinn Dybbuk, who gets the twins in a great deal of trouble. There is enough adventure and inventiveness here for several books: P. B. Kerr has another hit on his hands.
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