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The Hunt for the Hollower

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In this riff on Arthurian legend, a wizardess who is still mastering her powers goes on an epic quest to save her brother from an evil wizard in this “sweet and fun” middle grade adventure that’s “sizzling with magic” (Adam Rex, New York Times bestselling author) and is perfect for fans of Adam Gidwitz and Amanda Foody!

The great wizard Merlyn prophesized that his seventh descendant would do wonderful, miraculous things—baffling everyone when his great-great-many-times-great grandchild turns out to be twins. Soon enough, however, it becomes clear which sibling is the Septimum Genus: Percy is a natural with magic. Merlynda (to put it simply) is not.

But Merlynda doesn’t mind. Percy has always been by her side to cheer her up (and clean up) after her magical bungles—until the twins attempt a forbidden spell to help her control her magic, and Percy vanishes through a portal and straight into the clutches of the magic-stealing, mythical Hollower.

Aided by her best friend (who longs to be a knight), a wandering musician (who is fleeing from his past), and her brand-new, fierce familiar (who yearns for a taste of funnel cake), Merlynda sets off on a quest to rescue her brother. But to defeat this ancient evil, she must discover and embrace her true powers—or else lose her brother for good.

ISBN-13: 9781665918107

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Aladdin

Publication Date: 06-13-2023

Pages: 400

Product Dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)

Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Series: A Quest of Great Importance

Callie C. Miller works in animation and has written for shows spanning the audience age from preschool to teen anime. Callie holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and has twice placed in the Katherine Paterson Prize competition for her middle grade speculative fiction. Her books include The Hunt for the Hollower and The Search for the Shadowsoul.

Read an Excerpt

A Word from Our Narrator

A WORD FROM OUR NARRATOR
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a wizard named Merlyn. This name might sound familiar, but this Merlyn is not your Merlyn, just as this world is not your world. This story takes place in a magical land, full of fairies, and underwater cities, and a lamentable absence of funnel cake.

Though this story takes place in this magical land, it doesn’t belong to it. Stories, you see, aren’t confined to a single space or time, as most things are.

Now then.

This story isn’t about Merlyn, but it begins with him.

Merlyn, the trusted royal advisor. Merlyn, the greatest wizard in history. Merlyn, who popped out of a magical portal after defeating the villainous sorceress Morgan le Fey and was met by a throng of anxious citizens desperate to know if evil had been vanquished.

“Of course she’s been vanquished,” Merlyn snapped, his staff still smoking from the battle. Once this was tidied up, he’d have to report to the queen, who’d been cursed into a sheep by Morgan.

“Three cheers for the most powerful wizard of all time!”

“Ha!” Merlyn scoffed. He waved his hand over the smoking end of his staff, and it burst into flames. He shook it irritably to put it out. “Wait until you see my great-great-great-great-great-grandchild!”

In the back of the crowd, a boy with a falcon perched on his shoulder scowled.

The portal Merlyn had appeared from was already gone. The wizard stood alone—except for the crowd—in the midst of a circle of enormous stone pillars, each of them easily five times the height of a grown man.

“Why?” a centaur shouted.

“What will they do?” an old man called out.

Merlyn slammed his staff into the ground. A jet of water shot up from it, finally extinguishing the smoldering bits with a hiss. “You’ll have to wait and find out! It’s dangerous to know the future.”

Merlyn’s owl familiar swooped down and perched on his staff. “Don’t be rude,” the owl scolded.

No one likes being left in the dark, especially a crowd of people who had nearly been destroyed by the embodiment of evil, but Merlyn had an advantage when it came to knowing things. He had the gift of foresight. He was able to look ahead and see things that hadn’t happened yet, but probably would. The future wasn’t always clear, but it was exceptionally less foggy when he checked in on it than when you or I try.

In any case, it was too late. Word had already swept through the crowd that Merlyn’s seventh descendant would do great things. Wonderful things. Miraculous things.

This story is about Merlyn’s seventh descendants. Let’s meet them, shall we?

They’re about to dabble in mischief that’s going to take a turn for the worse.