Grimpow: The Invisible Road by Rafael Abalos

Grimpow coverGrimpow is a young thief whose life changes forever the day he finds a knight frozen to death in the forest. The knight is carrying a coded message, daggers covered in beautiful jewels and a mysterious stone amulet. When Grimpow holds the stone, he can read the coded message despite the fact that he has never seen the symbols the language is written in before. He begins to have strange visions, and suddenly feels that his life has new meaning and purpose. Following the clues left for him in the coded message along with information from old, wise monks living in the forest, and aided by another (very much alive) knight he runs across in the forest, Grimpow sets out on a treasure hunt to find the mysterious treasure of the Knights Templar.

In Grimpow: The Invisible Road, Grimpow and his knightly companion Salietti, travel all over Germany and France solving riddles and uncovering clues in their quest to find the treasure that the Knights Templar brought back from Jerusalem. They must dodge battles and stay one step ahead of the Spanish Inquisition, which is out to destroy the Knights Templar and steal their treasure. I’m always intrigued by a good Knights Templar novel, and this one with the traveling all over Europe and solving ancient riddles, read a bit like a Dan Brown novel…only slower, and with less imminent death. I liked that this story was set in the 1300’s instead of present day. I thought the characters were entertaining and had impressive backgrounds and secrets. I thought the clues were interesting, but not very challenging. The characters did figure them out awfully quickly, but then, I usually figured them out pretty quick too. I guess we are supposed to infer that Grimpow was able to figure out the answers extra quickly because of his stone. And it is a kids/young adult book. I liked the references to constellations, and there was a lot of fun trivia in the book that I think would be really intriguing and thought-provoking for kids and young adults. Overall, this was a good adventure novel with some historical fiction mixed in.

Happy reading,

-Branwen

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