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The Book of the Sage: The Goodfellow Chronicles    by J. C. Mills order for
Book of the Sage
by J. C. Mills
Order:  USA  Can
Key Porter, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I found The Goodfellow Chronicles a bit hard to come into in the middle, and would recommend that others read The Sacred Seal and The Messengers before picking up The Book of the Sage. Essentially, unbeknownst to us, a war for control of our destiny is going on between little folk - the Sage (who go about disguised in mouse suits and encourage our better instincts) and the evil, manipulative Fen. In previous episodes, the Sage revealed their existence to young Sam Middleton. Sam is now grandfather to Alice, and a lighthouse keeper who safeguards the precious Scrolls discovered in the previous episodes.

As the story opens, Sam (accompanied by Sage Edgar Goodfellow) receives a key left by his best friend, Fletcher Jaffrey, who disappeared on a mysterious NASA expedition after his successful exploration of Mars. Edgar's wife Charlotte soon gives birth to twins, Winston and Jolly. Her brother Porter acquires a pet cicada that he names Jasper (who plays a pivotal role later), and the key leads to a Martian book, which Edgar takes to the great Sage mystic, Delphinia Shipton, to decipher. The book, as well as a consultation with the slightly demented Sage Cornelius Mango (suffering the results of a 'squirrel joyride'), reveals a disturbing connection between Sage and Fen, as well as the existence of a map, and clues to what happened to Fletcher.

There's news of overseas tragedy, a wicked plot by Fen Shrike and his downtrodden nephew Bogg, a mechanical mouse spy, a kidnapping and more than one rescue - during which, young Alice is cheerfully embroiled in events that will teach her 'that the faith and courage of one single soul can alter the course of history.' The Goodfellow Chronicles are sweet, and old-fashioned, told at a leisurely pace, about an ongoing struggle between good and evil - and the small Sage are charming folk, well worth meeting.

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