Charlie Hernández & the castle of bones

Ryan Calejo

Book - 2019

"When Queen Joanna is kidnapped Charlie and Violet set out across South America to find her and discover a conspiracy to raise the dead"--

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Calejo, Ryan. Charlie Hernández ; 2.
Fantasy fiction
New York : Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division 2019.
First Aladdin hardcover edition
Item Description
Series information from
Sequel to: Charlie Hernández & the league of shadows.
Physical Description
591 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 10-14.
Main Author
Ryan Calejo (author)
Review by Booklist Review

After saving his parents from the legendary bruja La Cuca, Charlie is just settling into his new life with the League of Shadows when Queen Joanna, their leader, is kidnapped. He and his friend Violet embark on a quest to rescue Joanna, and their pursuit takes them through Brazil, Argentina, and Chile up to El Salvador and Mexico. As they piece together clues involving mysterious castles of bones and a centuries-old necromancer, Charlie and Violet encounter various creatures from Hispanic myths, including a lobisomem (Brazilian werewolf), an alicanto bird, and okpe ogres, some of whom help, while others try to stop the children at all costs. But when they reach their final destination and uncover an ancient secret, Charlie learns that those he thought were friends may in fact be enemies. Through brief, fast-paced chapters, this ongoing adventure introduces more vibrant culture and legends, all while developing Charlie, Violet, and the other members of La Liga. Middle-grade readers will enjoy this second installment of the Charlie Hernández series with its adventure, memorable characters, and heartbreak.--Selenia Paz Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 4--8--Floridian and animal mage Charlie Hernández is back for adventures across Latin America with his friend Violet. In this second installment, Charlie's friend Joanna, the witch queen of Toledo, has been kidnapped, and Charlie and Violet follow clues in South and Central American countries to find her. The entire catalogue of mythological creatures chase them including Brazilian lobisomem (werewolves) and the mischievous red-capped Saci Pererê, who ends up an unwilling ally on their quest. Most disturbing to Charlie are the castells, or towers of bones, that crop up, indications that an undead necromancer may seek to raise the dead and enslave the living. A dramatic battle ends this episode on a cliff-hanger. It's never boring around Charlie. He encounters one enemy after another. Despite being the chosen morphling, Charlie stays grounded in friendship and morality, as does his super-smart friend Violet. Spanish is peppered throughout the book with subtle or direct translations, adding to Calejo's rich cultural adventure. Calejo's phrasing takes getting used to, as his longer sentences use numerous dependent phrases. He hits his rhythm as the action heats up, and readers will become more engaged. The adventures do seem to follow patterns--Charlie loses consciousness so often that it feels like a plot device. VERDICT A highly recommended adventure series, though readers should be familiar with the first book before picking up this latest installment.--Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Charlie and his best friend, Violet, return, this time to save the Witch Queen of Toledowho may not need saving after all.Since readers left him in Charlie Hernndez and the League of Shadows (2018), Charlie has been trying to improve his control over his morphling powers, which allow him to manifest as different animals. His adult handler, Queen Joanna, is supposed to be there to help him, but one day he and Violet find she has been kidnapped, so they take it upon themselves to rescue her. The clues she seems to have left behind lead them to Brazil and beyond; just as in the first installment, they dodge gods, beasts, and monsters of Iberian lore and legend along the way. Mexican-American Charlie is able to identify the creatures they find as they traverse South America (thanks to some magical modes of travel) while white-presenting Violet is the mastermind who figures ways out of tricky situations. Predictably, they get out of all the traps they find themselves in, but that doesn't mean there aren't truly gruesome and scary events along the way. Spanish and Portuguese are unitalicized and, thankfully, not translated in line but rather left to context. Oddly, Brazilian trickster god Saci peppers his sentences with a fair bit of Spanish, even at times when it seems more linguistically logical to use Portuguese. Readers who have not read the first volume should not have trouble catching up, but it does require quite an attention span to keep track of people and events.Well worth it for ravenous fans of quest stories. (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.