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Beneath The Mask
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  Beneath The Mask

If Coriko refuses to do as the Spears demand, the only person he cares for will be killed. But if he agrees to wear the Mask, she will hate him for what he must do to keep her alive. The only way out is to escape from Grassland.

• Chocolate Lily Award Nominee 2005-2006

"An excellent continuation of a trilogy fraught with daring escapes, dangerous situations and genuine characters."
- VOYA

"Gripping adventure fantasy."
- The Vancouver Sun

"Action gallops non-stop from the very first sentence."
- Resource Links

"In true sequel fashion, answers some but not all of the questions. Ward succeeds in drawing in his readers and leaving them wanting more."
- Canadian Review of Materials

"Believable and courageous, the characters in this story bring up issues of slavery, freedom, child labor and more."
- Amazon

 

Full Reviews

"In the second book of the Grassland Trilogy, Coriko & Pippa, along with the escaped slaves, try to flee Grassland, but thy are recaptured by the mysterious Spears. During a ceremony known as The Separation, Pippa is taken away from Coriko. Coriko must train as a Spear in order to keep herself alive and have the chance to see Pippa again. He is forced to go on a Spear-raiding mission and kidnap a child from her home just as he was kidnapped when he was young. When Coriko is allowed to see Pippa he must accept that many former slaves are adjutsing to their lives among the Spears and no longer wish to leave. Coriko & Pippa, along with their friends, choose freedom over assimilation and escape the Spears again. The story is nicely poised for book three as Coriko, Pippa, and friends leave Grassland in search of their families.

Ward stes a brisk pace from page one and does not slow down; however he does not rely solely on action to carry the book. His protagonists are faced with difficult questions: Would you commit acts you knew were wrong, such as kidnapping and murder, in order to protect a loved one? What do you truly value more, comfort and security or the freedom to live as you choose? It is an excellent continuation of a trilogy fraught with daring escapes, dangerous situations, and genuine characters. Strongly suggest the first book, Escape the Mask."

- VOYA - Voice of Youth Advocates Journal.

 

Beneath the Mask begins where Escape the Mask left off and chronicles the journey of the main characters of Coriko and Pippa and their small group of followers as they attempt to survive on their own. The book begins with the group’s trying to make it to the ship and with it, they believe, their freedom. Pippa’s recurring dream of “ashes and fire” foreshadows what will follow as the group is captured by the Spears. In order to survive and more important keep their mate alive, Coriko and the other males must become what they hate most.

David Ward has succeeded in continuing the story and recreating the characters introduced in Escape the Mask. Instead of focusing only on their freedom, Ward succeeds in having the characters challenge what they know and ultimately who they are. As they struggle, Ward has them mature with a childlike innocence. It is in this innocence that it becomes unbelievable that these children can survive on their own. To compensate, Ward fittingly has the focus shift to the character of Tia who, in this book, truly comes into her own and who is the one who is able to realize the reality of their situation. It is also Tia that makes the ultimate sacrifice, and, in order for the story to be believable, it cannot be anyone else.

This is a good read which, in true sequel fashion, answers some but not all of the questions. Ward succeeds in drawing in his readers and leaving them wanting more.

Recommended. - Canadian Review of Materials

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US edition published by Amulet Books

Cover artwork used with permission.
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