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The Wrath of Mulgarath
ISBN 0689859406 / 9780689859403 / 0-689-85940-6
Publisher Simon & Schuster
List price $10.99
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Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi pull off an impressive five for five with Wrath of Mulgarath, the satisfyingly dramatic conclusion to their series, The Spiderwick Chronicles. After the gory conclusion of the The Ironwood Tree, we don't get even a moment's reprieve before the action picks up again, in a starting chapter entitled, fittingly, "IN WHICH the World Is Turned Upside Down." Thirteen-year-old Mallory and nine-year-old twins Jared and Simon return to the Spiderwick Estate only to find their home in shambles, with trash and broken furniture scattered across the lawn and Simon's griffin chasing a "goblin" across the roof. The faerie world that the Grace kids have so slowly probed in this series has finally come home to roost. Black and DiTerlizzi pack a lot into the finale of this beautifully produced series, with dragons and goblins and elves--and even a magical cameo by Arthur Spiderwick (the long-lost author of the disappearing-reappearing Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You). We get a dramatic rescue, a clever end to a fearsome foe (with some thanks to Hogsqueal from book two), and a long denouement that leads to a final cryptic note from the author and illustrator: "Are there more ogres / and dragons to slay? / Is there more mayhem, / perhaps, on the way? / Ask Tony and Holly. / They'll swear that it's true. / But you still won't believe / what's coming for you!" (Ages 6 to 10) --Paul Hughes [via]