Velza is drawn into the farcical role of a secret agent by Latsar, who uses Iron Claw, the name given to her by the seamen on the Invincible, to convince the king. Pressure is exerted on Velza to find her father Calbaras, and surrender him to the guards. But Calbaras has gone beyond the point of safety with the four magics. Dantar’s identical construction Avantar has been freed, and under Calbara’s spell is ready to move into his son’s body.
Dantar and Marko prove resourceful and clever. They make an agreement with Merikus, leader of an army of sewer rats to be led from the underground. The ever strengthening Avantar fails to move into Dantar’s body when the opportunity arises. This reinforces the boy’s belief that he is being protected, something he felt from his time on the Invincible; that his protector is the baby dragon who is a shapeshifter. He’s convinced that the dragon is now Merikus.
Coffins in the crypt chamber become the boys’ temporary hiding place. They leave on a ship as hands, without suspecting the danger in store.
As Calbaras searches for Dantar, Velza wonders why her brother seems to be the key to everything. More questions are being asked by everyone about who is who and why Dantar is being hunted. Tension continues to build as each character follows their determined path. Threads of teasers are again left hanging, to be picked up in the next book.
This book has even tastier morsels to chew on than the last. Each episode doubles in suspense and intrigue. The adventure turns new corners and the characters evolve into something new and more substantial. Marc McBride’s outstanding art stirs the imagination and creates further interest in the dragon characters.
The Iron Claw is the third book in The Warlock’s Child series, following The Burning Sea and Dragonfall Mountain.
Title: The Iron Claw (The Warlock’s Child #3)
Author: Paul Collins & Sean McMullen
Illustrator: Marc McBride
Publisher: Ford St, $12.95 RRP
Publication Date: June 2015
For ages: 10+