My children and I are hooked on the Passages series! Each book is about different children throughout different time periods in Odyssey's history who end up finding themselves in another world (reminiscent of Narnia). The world, Marus, parallels the bible in which each book is a bible story come to life, though with a very different setting and intriguing twists. This book tells the story of Queen Esther (Annison) with a fairytale/fantasy twist. A little girl, Maddy, finds herself in the middle of the story helping Annison. These books also have a hint of mystery--each "manuscript" (a.k.a. book) was written by a mysterious author. Whit and his friend wonder who wrote them and how many children ended up having an adventure in Marus. Each book begins with their investigation and their discovery of a new manuscript. I haven't read the last 3 books but I must say that even I, as an adult, can't wait to see where the mystery leads! Plus, reading this book made my children want to read the book of Esther again and compare the two stories. A great motivation to dig deeper into God's word! My 3rd graders love these books, and so do I.
Annison's Risk could almost fit under the category of a "supposal", the word coined by C.S. Lewis when discussing his Chronicles of Narnia. It is the story of Queen Esther set in a different world and seen through the eyes of a young girl from our world. McCusker has made this other world very real and I loved some of the points he made through Maddy's naivety. Any girl who dreams of entering a fairy tale or wants to read the story of Esther in a new way will love this book.
While I found most of the Passages books to be more candy than meat, this one I really enjoyed and appreciated the lessons it contains.