Corydon & the Fall of Atlantis. By Tobias Druitt. Knopf. $15.99.
The Five Ancestors, Book IV: Crane. By Jeff Stone. Random House. $15.99.
These “continuing adventure” tales raise the questions of what is human and what is not, and of ways in which humans can – and, for their survival, must – learn from nonhuman animals. Neither book is the slightest bit preachy, but both have quite a few lessons to teach.
Corydon & the Fall of Atlantis is a followup to Corydon and the Island of Monsters, in which Greek legends were turned every which way by an authorial team that knows them inside out (“Tobias Druitt” is the pseudonym for mother-and-son writers Diane Purkiss and Michael Dowling). The earlier book was if anything a touch too steeped in Greek legends to be immediately intelligible to young readers who have not studied and been fascinated by this deep and highly influential mythology. The new book is more of a straightforward adventure story, and is likely to have even more immediate appeal than its predecessor. The plot flows from the kidnapping of the Minotaur – a peace-loving inhabitant of the
The Five Ancestors is into its fourth book with Crane, and Jeff Stone shows no sign of reducing the intensity of this well-wrought series. It is about five young 17th-century warrior-monks-in-training who survive the destruction of their school at