Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Prisoner Of The Black Hawk Prisoner Of The Black Hawk:
The Mapmaker Chronicles #1
by A. L. Tait

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jacqui Smith

As readers may have noticed, I have a certain fondness for a good map. So, when I saw a young adult fantasy series called The Mapmaker Chronicles, I rather thought that it might be of interest. And I have to say that Australian writer A .L. Tait has done a pretty fine job of creating a novel twist on the sailing ship story. He’s wisely taken it fully to a fantasy world, so it’s quite clear that his map is not our map. But sadly, there are no maps in the book. I do think the story could have been greatly enhanced by the inclusion of maps detailing the progress of the Libertas and her crew.

The background is a race to map the world, with the central character being a young map-maker aboard one of the ships. There is a prize for each captain, and Captain Zain is sailing for his freedom. Which is ironic when our young hero, Quinn the map-maker, is captured by Gelynions, and caged below decks… and then they are attacked by pirates! It’s all a lot of fun, and I’m sure this series would be greatly enjoyed by older boys, in particular.

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