Casey Parker is having the time of her life leaping in and out of books through her uncle’s magical bookshop, Moonglow’s, when she finds a strange little black book with her name listed in it. Uncle Walt’s name is there too, along with his life story and that of every other owner the bookshop has ever had. As Casey and Uncle Walt begin to investigate the mysterious rhymes contained in the book, Uncle Walt becomes permanently trapped in a book—and it’s up to Casey to find a way to free him.
Throughout her journey to free Uncle Walt, Casey faces untold dangers in fantastic locations, from the lost city of Atlantis to ancient Egypt to medieval England, and even to a pirate utopia called Libertalia. She must search for a protective amulet, the all-powerful Moonstone, and ultimately the Sword of Destiny, which she’ll need in the final battle to break the spell that’s holding her uncle captive. But, even with the guidance of a mystical fortune teller in the real world, will Casey be brave enough to fight this evil force on her own? Or will her uncle remain trapped in Atlantis forever?
The Sword of Destiny is the sequel to Midnight at Moonglow’s, which won the Writer’s Digest Mark of Quality award and an honorable mention in the Los Angeles Book Festival
Winner of the bronze medal for best book series in the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards.
Night had fallen as Casey started to make her way back to her friends. She passed a few curious looking booths, but one in particular caught her eye. It wasn’t a booth at all, but a narrow little black tent with silver stars all over it. The sign that hung over the opening read, “Miz Luna: Soothsayer, Mystic of the Night. Divinations of the Moon and Stars.”
Casey stopped and stared. She had the strongest urge to go in. The little tent looked so out of place in between the other brightly lit booths. It had no lights on or around it and seemed as if it was in a world of its own, far away from the noise and busyness of the festival. She couldn’t resist, she had to go in and see what Miz Luna was all about.
Casey took one step into the tent and stopped to let her eyes adjust. The only light inside was coming from a single candle that sat atop a small wooden table. Two chairs were placed on either side and a woman sat on one of them.
“Please, come sit down,” she said, her voice soft and with some sort of accent that Casey couldn’t place. She had long dark curly hair and was dressed like a gypsy with a long flowing skirt. Huge gold hoops hung from her ears and noisy bangles that clinked together every time she moved adorned her wrists.
Casey sat in the empty chair. Above her, a cut-out of the moon and dozens of tiny stars hung from strings from the roof of the tent and underneath her feet was a rug with the same theme, black with a silver moon and stars woven into it. Casey half-expected to see a crystal ball on the table, but there was only the candle and a stack of cards, and the silence. For as thin as the tent walls were and as noisy as it was at the festival, it was eerily quiet inside. It didn’t seem like it should even be possible. She had never really believed in fortune tellers, but since there was such a thing as a magical bookshop, she was trying to keep an open mind.
“How may I help you today, young lady?” Miz Luna said with a smile. Her eyes were a bright green that seemed to glow in the darkness, and something about her face seemed familiar.
“Ummm, I don’t know really,” Casey said. “I just had the urge to come in.”
“Ah, yes. They do that.” Miz Luna laughed softly.
“Who does what?”
“The celestial forces of the heavens; the moon and stars. The same force of the moon that causes the ocean’s tides. The moon is very powerful, you know. And it knows things, as do the stars. They are more than just great balls of gas. Their alignment with each other and the constellations aren’t just random gatherings. They tell us things all the time. All we have to do is listen. And they brought you in here because they wanted to tell you something.”
Casey began to think maybe she was crazy. The moon causing a random incidence of magic was one thing, but talking to you? Telling you things? Not a chance. “So, what do the moon and stars want me to know? And how do you know what they’re saying? I don’t see a crystal ball or anything. Do they talk through those cards?”
Miz Luna laughed a high-pitched tinkling sort of laugh. “No, my child. No crystal ball and these are just tarot cards. These really are random, but some people believe in them. All I can tell you is that I just hear them. I can’t explain how.” She held out her arms in front of her with her palms up. “Here, place your hands in mine.”
Casey hesitated for a moment, but was too curious as to what she would say. What could the moon and stars possibly have to tell her? She gently placed her hands palm to palm on Miz Luna’s and then sat quietly.
Miz Luna closed her eyes. She was so still for the next several minutes that she seemed to not even breathe. Casey began to wonder if she was alright and thought maybe she should say something or move her hands and give her a poke, but then Miz Luna finally opened her eyes and took a deep breath. They both sat back in their chairs and relaxed. Miz Luna smiled and seemed excited when she spoke.
“Well, my child, you certainly know the moon, don’t you?”
“What do you mean?”
“You have a connection. I felt it as soon as your hands touched mine, a sort of tingly vibration. You know the moon and the moon certainly knows you. You come alive in the moonlight like no one else can. You go to very special places at night. Secret places. Through secret doors.” Casey just stared at her with her mouth hanging slightly open. “I can see that I am correct, no?”
“Yes,” Casey barely managed to whisper. She couldn’t believe it. How could she possibly know anything about secret doors and secret places? That was way too close to the truth. Maybe this lady was for real. Casey held her breath in anticipation.
“Well, there is a very important message for you,” Miz Luna continued. “You must find the Moonstone and return it to its proper place. Protection you will find in ancient sands. Your might lies within the deepest of caves in the darkest of mountains.”
Casey instantly deflated. “What is a Moonstone and where is its proper place?” She had been hoping to hear something spectacular, something life-changing, like it was her destiny to become the first female president of the United States, not something about some sort of rock that made no sense to her. This sounded like another riddle and she had had enough riddles already. “I have no idea what that means.”
“I’m sorry I can’t tell you any more than that. That was all that was given to me. I don’t know what it means either, but let me assure you that it must be very important. Please do take it seriously.”
Casey rose from her chair. “Thank you, Miz Luna. I do appreciate it. How much do I owe you?”
“Nothing, my child.” Miz Luna rose from her chair as well and gently took Casey’s hand in between both of hers. “Just promise me that you will remember that message and do not dismiss it as nonsense. You didn’t find me by chance. You were sent to me.”