by Brian Farrey
Every person is much more than they seem.
The Vengekeep Prophecies has been sitting in my pile for nearly a year. I got it just as the school started and there it sat waiting to be read. I’m glad it was patient. Reading it made me think about the idea of choosing between what you should do and what you want to do. It led me to think about the importance of finding a way to contribute by following your passion and knowing what you are good at. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, pick it up and give it a try.
Vengekeep is the name of the town where Jaxter and the Grimjinx family live. The family makes their living by pulling cons, creating forgeries and pickpocketing. The wisdom and skill of the profession has been passed down for generations in the family album detailing the Grimjinx history; each entry ending with ‘and then we were rich beyond belief.’ Jaxter is twelve and now is his time to add to the family legacy and continue the story. The only problem is that Jaxter is a klutz of the very worse kind and that doesn’t bode well for his future success.
On his first solo mission, Jaxter burned the Castellan’s house down and landed the family in gaol. But staying in gaol wasn’t what the Grimjinxes were destined for. Each year Vengekeep has an Unveiling of the five hundred year old tapestry foretelling important events for the town’s upcoming year. For centuries the Vengekeep scholars have been studying and interpreting the tapestry, making plans to avert any foretold danger and keeping the city prosperous. This year the tapestry predicts a very bleak future that can only be overcome by the family marked by the star. The Grimjinxes are that family.
Jaxter looks at all the horrors depicted on the tapestry. How are they ever going to survive them? Each one seems to be a worse horror than the one before. It is going to be a disastrous year – why then are his parents so calm? They seem to be enjoying their status as the keepers of the city. That is until the lava monsters arrive and their plan unravels. Jaxter may not have inherited his family’s skills but he does have knowledge. Nanni had said, “The things you learn in books will outshine all of us someday, you mark my words.” Maybe that is true. Jaxter is going to need everything he has learned along with courage, friendship and creativity if he is going to beat the Vengekeep prophecy.
At the beginning of the book Jaxter wonders if his family is ashamed of him. It can be hard to choose – doing what you think you should or doing what you want. Do you have to choose? Read The Vengekeep Prophecies to find out.