The Taker and the Keeper (The Red Monocle Series)
Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin
ChironBooks (2009)
ISBN 9781935178033
Reviewed by Ben Weldon (age 11) for Reader Views (01/10)

“The Taker and the Keeper” by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin is the story of twelve-year-old Gregory Guest and his thirteen-year-old friend Yolanda Torres as they find a strange and magical world that has fallen into complete disarray.  As they venture through the magical world, they find that it is no ordinary world; this is the world of King Arthur, but the people are rude, rowdy, and dirty – unlike the chivalrous people of King Arthur’s court.  Can Gregory and Yolanda help to fix Arthur’s world before it is too late and Arthur never becomes king?

One day while Gregory was helping to clean out the former science teacher’s lab, he found a mysterious red monocle in a box labeled “no good.”  But one day in Gregory’s private hideout under a bridge, he finds that the red monocle is far from no good.  Using the monocle Gregory is able to see a hole open up in a brick wall.  It turns out that the “no good” monocle can open strange space and time conundrums called wormholes.  This wormhole leads to what should become King Arthur’s realm.  But things are in trouble.  The evil Morgan le Fay has stolen the sacred sword, Excalibur.  With the help of the wizard Merlin, and his apprentice, Palamon, Gregory, Yolanda, and Gregory’s old science teacher make their way past many traps to the enchantress’ castle.  But can they make it inside with the gate guarded by a spell that will imprison them forever if touched, and once inside can they evade Morgan le Fay’s evil magic?

A spell that Merlin once cast referred to two people who would help Merlin to save the kingdom.  Yolanda believes that she and Gregory are the Taker and the Keeper mentioned.  But who is who?  The slightest mistake could mean the end of King Arthur’s kingdom.

Packed with action and adventure, this book was a fun read.  “The Taker and the Keeper” by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin is the first book in “The Red Monocle,” series, and I can’t wait for the next one.  I would recommend this book to people who like King Arthur and adventure books.

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