Lost Password

Book Review

Publisher's Note:

The stunning conclusion to S. E. Grove's New York Times–bestselling Mapmakers trilogy—a historical, fantastical adventure perfect for fans of Philip Pullman! It is late August 1892, and Sophia Tims is coming home from a foreign Age, having risked her life in search of her missing parents. Now she is aboard ship, with a hard-earned, cryptic map that may help her find them at long last. But her homecoming is anything but peaceful. Threatening clouds hang over New Orleans harbor. Sinkholes have been opening in Boston, swallowing parts of the city whole. Rogue weirwinds tear up the Baldlands. Worst of all, New Occident is at war, led by a prime minister who will do anything to expand the country westward. He has blackmailed Sophia’s beloved uncle Shadrack into drawing the battle maps that will lead countless men and boys—including Sophia’s best friend, Theo—to their deaths. As Sophia puzzles out her next move, Shadrack is peeling back layers of government intrigue, and Theo is bra…

The Crimson Skew

by S.E. Grove

Overall Book Review:

The Crimson Skew is the third book in the exciting, fantasy, adventure series, Mapmakers by S.E. Grove. It needs to be noted that this is really a series that needs to be started with the first book to really understand what is going on plot wise. That being said, even without completely understanding the storyline, this is an action-packed adventure that takes place in a very imaginative world. Grove has thoroughly crafted a world that draws you in with mystery, intrigue, pirates, mystics and magical map makers. The novel takes place in the 1890’s but it almost has a steampunk/futuristic feel that is unique and refreshing.

Sophia is on a quest to find her parents and along the way has gathered around her a devoted group of friends, all from a variety of backgrounds. The quest has literally taken them around the world and even to different “Ages”. Finally, the adventure is coming to an end, but not without a lot of turmoil and peril. Along the way Sophia is learning more about herself and her talents involving mapmaking. This was one of the most intriguing things about the novel, the idea that there are different types of maps that are ‘read’ in different ways–ways that Sophia has to learn. 

This is one series that has a lot going on and while it’s not a hard read, it was hard to keep track of all of the people and places that came into play. Most likely this is made easier if one would start with the first book. Check out the review of the first book in the series, The Glass Sentence.

Review of an Advance Reader’s Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Viking Books for Young Readers

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 mild obscenity. 

Violence/Gore:  Story told of a poisonous fog causing someone to think she is chasing rats with a knife to kill them and when she wakes up she can’t find her children, implying that she actually killed them; mention of buildings being burnt with people inside; mention of pirates capturing a ship and leaving the crew to drown; character has a sword fight, ends up pushing opponent over and slashing the back of the their ankles; mention of someone having been murdered with no details; person knocked to the ground and held there by the attacker’s foot; person knocked unconscious; as a form of punishment a person is forced to carry a yoke on his neck for a long period of time, causing a bloody neck; company of soldiers attacked and an arrow is shot into a character’s arm; character dragged behind a wagon; frightening scene describing the effects and hallucinations caused by a poisonous fog (3 pages); secondhand account of someone having speared another with a pickax as a result of the fog; secondhand account of someone witnessing the murder of family members; account of people having been locked in a building and then having the building set on fire which causes the death of many before they could be freed; character mentions having found his wife and child burnt to death; secondhand account of a mystical person sending a wind that kills people; mention of someone thinking they would be hanged if they didn’t join the army; paragraph long description of dog fights; secondhand account of man volunteering his 8 year old son to take part in a dog fight (actually replacing one of the dogs), which resulted him in getting bit; character sees a vision where people are killed by a fierce wind; man knocked down by thrown rocks; secondhand account of troops having burnt down a city.

Sex/Nudity:  Male and female hold hands once and hug once.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, war, missing parents, piracy.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Mention of someone drinking rum; mention of man having drunk wine.

Overall Book Rating

Share This Post

About the Reviewer

I remember as a young girl sneaking out of my bedroom to read by the hall light my parents left on, just so I could finish an exciting book. I’ve always loved books and reading is somewhat of a passion for me–something I’m passing on to my kids. I have four children and I have a hard time making them turn out the light when they say, “But I just got to the good part”.