A short time ago, Archie Lox was a normal boy living in London. That all changed when he saw a young girl, Inez, being chased by assassins and he followed her into the Merge. The Merge is an alternative dimension full of danger, peril and the aforementioned axe-and-knife-wielding murderers. It is also where Archie learns that he is a locksmith of rare, considerable talent and that he might be the one to unlock the most complicated lock of all.
Following the introduction to the wonderful world of the Merge in Darren Shan's Archibald Lox and the Bridge Between Worlds and their incredible victory in Archibald Lox and the Empress of Suanpan, Archie's adventures continue in Archibald Lox and the Vote of Alignment.
Archie, Inez and the band of thespians travel to Cornan, the capital of the Sapphire realm. There they will put on the performance of their lives, both on stage and during the Vote of Alignment. The whole safety of the Merge rests of their shoulders and Archie will learn just how important his role is. He'll also get to play a game or two of grop - an extravagant combination of basketball, football and utter mayhem - while eluding those pesky assassins. He may or may not succeed in either endeavour.
I thoroughly enjoyed the festival atmosphere of Cornan, with its intrigues and drama, atmosphere and performances. Archibald Lox and the Vote of Alignment truly transports the reader away to a different place, far, far away from the real world. I was also completely unprepared for that reveal at the end!
The Archibald Lox series is exactly what the world needs right now. It is inventive, magical and fantastical, terrifically readable and a lot of fun. All the books in the series are short, recommended for even the most reluctant readers, while those who prefer more hefty tomes can binge the full trilogy in one volume. The best thing about coming to the end of The Missing Princess trilogy? This is only volume one and the next book in the series, Archibald Lox and the Forgotten Crypt will be released on 1 July 2021.
I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy and give Archibald Lox and the Vote of Alignment a superb five out of five stars. Highly recommended for fans of superior middle grade fantasy fiction.
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