The Day Of The Djinn Warriors (Children Of The Lamp)
by P.B. Kerr
Cover Artist: Petar Meseldzija
Review by Colleen Cahill
Orchard Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780439932141
Date: 01 January 2008 List Price $17.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
There are plenty of books about children with powers, from LeGuin's Earthsea books to the Harry Potter saga. The reason this theme is popular is that it's fun to imagine having special abilities. In P.B. Kerr's fourth Children of the Lamp book, The Day of the Djinn Warriors, we again enter the world of two young djinn as they continue their adventures all over the world and beyond.
John and Philippa Grant have returned from their adventures in India and Nepal and discovered their mother has left to become the Blue Djinn of Babylon, the supreme djinn, and their mortal father is not looking well. He is not sick, but due to a Methuselah spell their mother put on him, he is incredibly old. The purpose of the spell is to keep the twins at home, as they must be present or their father will continue to age.
With the help of their Uncle Nimrod, his butler Groanin, and their old friend Mr. Rakshasas, the pair find a way to keep the spell from further aging their father while giving at least one of the twins the ability to venture away from home. It is imperative that they find a replacement for Blue Djinn, as the process that will give their mother ultimate djinn power will also turn her completely logical and cold.
The best candidate is Faustina, who was originally anointed to become the Blue Djinn, but due to an accident, her body and spirit have been separated. Unfortunately, Faustina's brother Dybbuk refuses to help as he is more interested in using his djinn powers to become a world-famous stage magician.
Things are made more complex as several museums, which hold clues to the puzzle, are suddenly guarded by animated Chinese terracotta warrior statues. John and Philippa find there is a dark plot unfolding, one that has ties to all the problems facing them and one that certainly has evil at its heart.
This fast-paced book takes us all over the world, from New York to London to Xian, China, and plenty of places between. Not having read the earlier works, I definitely missed out on some minor points, but on the whole I was able to follow the plot of this book.
Kerr presents djinn magic and culture, explaining fine points like how the Blue Djinn is created and the dangers of a djinn using up his or her powers. There is also plenty of color from the locations the twins visit and from the interesting people they meet, including a 19th-century Greek tourist who accidentally ended up a guardian of an Egyptian temple.
This is a book that throws the unexpected at you, often with a humorous twist, such as when the party raises Marco Polo from the dead for a question-and-answer session only to discover they can't send him back until he finishes a quest.
The Day of the Djinn Warriors is a great read for any who enjoy an action-filled page turner. There are also plenty of puzzles, lots of travel, and the ending makes it clear that a fifth Children of the Lamp book will be appearing in the future. A must-read for any fans of the previous books, this is also not a bad place to start investigating this series, and to learn again that special powers can be a whole lot of fun.