Early Book Review: The Magician’s Key: The Secrets of the Pied Piper 2 by Matthew Cody

The Magician’s Key by Matthew Cody is the second book in the Secrets of the Pied Piper trilogy. It is scheduled for release on November 8 2016. The first book was The Peddler's Road, which I gave four stars. You do need to read the books in order to understand the characters and storyline. There is a third book promised to conclude the series.

On the Summer Isle, siblings Max and Carter discovered the magical land where the villainous Pied Piper led the children of Hamelin centuries ago. But only Max made it back.  Now she is determined to rescue her brother. To do so, she will have to find the one and only key to the Summer Isle. That key is controlled by Vodnik, a dastardly magician and soul stealer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.  Meanwhile, Carter must overcome his own troubles back on the Summer Isle. He’s been separated from his friends and left with a very untrustworthy companion: the Pied Piper himself.  Struggling desperately to find each other, Max and Carter encounter a bashful trollson, a daring elf, a seafaring hobgoblin, and the ever-loyal kobold Bandybulb. As their paths converge, they prepare for the most important quest yet: to send the children of New Hamelin home.

The Magician’s Key begins shortly after The Peddler's Road ends. Max in back and searching for a way to save Carter and her friends still on the Summer Isle, while those left behind are struggling with a changing world, the Piper, and Baba Yaga. Everyone has dangers and decisions to face, and most of the hardest moments come when least expected. Betrayal and loyalty and major  components to the story, and keep everyone guessing. I felt like I got a much better understanding of the Piper, Carter, and some of the New Hamelin children but felt like Max's adventures did not offer nearly as much insight. There were many satisfying moments, and plenty of excitement. However, this book did not appeal to me quite as much as the first book in the series. I feel like this book was mostly just the set up for a grand conclusion. It was still an enjoyable read, but since I enjoyed the first book so much, and the other books I have read from the author, I felt a little let down. None of this will stop me from reading the next book, and looking forward to it.

The Magician’s Key is a good follow up to The Peddler's Road, but was not as compelling in the story or action. It was still a solid read, and I am glad I read it. However, like many second books in trilogies it felt more like a bridge between books than a full story in itself. I sill plan on reading the third book, and trust this author not to disappoint with the conclusion. 
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