The Children of the Lost by David Whitley
In 2009 David Whitley's debut The Midnight Charter was published and I reviewed it here. It was a beautiful and compelling read that marked one of the most promising debuts in recent years. And so expectations are high, both from the industry and myself, for the second book in the series, The Children of the Lost.
Mark and Lily have been banished from Agora, the ancient city-state where everything is for sale – memories, emotions – even children. Lost and alone they discover Giseth, a seemingly perfect land where everyone is equal, possessions are unknown, and Lily believes they will find the secret of their entwined destiny. But paradise comes at a price. Why are their new friends so scared? What hides deep in the forest? And who is the mysterious woman who appears in their dreams, urging them to find The Children of the Lost?
David Whitley is a good author, indeed he is a very good author, and this much is evident within the first few pages of this book. The speed with which you fall under a book's spell is testament to the author's skill and The Children of the Lost had me from the first page. Picking up the second book in a series, almost a year after reading the first, can sometimes require a period of adjustment but this was not the case here - it was just like visiting old friends. The fantasy genre thrives on escapism (which this book offers in abundance) and that is why, when it is good, it can provide a most exhilarating reading experience. This is why The Lord of the Rings always has been and always will be such a beloved book.
The Midnight Charter laid impressive and firm foundations and The Children of the Lost builds well upon them. The city of Agora still stands out as the most wonderful of creations and it has a brooding atmosphere all of it's own, almost as if it is a living entity. Although we now find Mark and Lily outside the city walls we are still able to keep abreast of matters within the ancient city-state thanks to seeing events through the eyes of many of the characters first introduced The Midnight Charter: Snutsworth, Cherubina, Laud, Ben, Dr Theo et al. But Mark and Lily's destiny is still the centrepiece and driving force of the story and once again their different character traits create a great contrast: Lily is caring, thoughtful, helpful and always hopeful whilst Mark is cynical, distrusting and selfish. It is interesting to watch both characters develop as their traits begin to show in each other, in particular as Lily's inherent goodness helps Mark to become a rather less unsavoury human being.
The first two thirds of the book are very good, involving and interesting. We are with familiar characters but in a completely new and exciting environment. The only downside, in my opinion, was a lull about two-thirds of the way through the book, before the thrilling and climatic ending.
The Children of the Lost is a worthy continuation of a fine little series that shows that Puffin, in Mark Whitley and Matthew Skelton, have two very fine young authors who are producing excellent fiction for older children and young adults.
David Whitley was born in Chester in 1984. At the age of seventeen he was shortlisted for the Kathleen Fidler Award for a children's novel and at twenty he won the Cheshire Prize for Literature for a children's short story.
This The Children of the Lost book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: The Agora Trilogy
The Midnight Charter
The Agora Trilogy: Book 1
In the city of Agora, anything can be bought and sold. Even children are possessions until their twelfth birthday. Mark has been sold by his father, and Lily, an orphan fro...
The Children of the Lost
The Agora Trilogy: Book 2
Mark and Lily have been banished from Agora, the ancient city-state where everything is for sale – memories, emotions – even children. Lost and alone they disco...
Have you read The Children of the Lost?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Children of the Lost reader reviews
8.4/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The year is 1939. Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troop...
Guy Gavriel Kay
Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the t...
A Christmas Carol
It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London, and all around the snow-covered city people are rushing home to be with their families. All except one man, that is: Ebenezer Scroo...
Sailing to Sarantium
Guy Gavriel Kay
Rumoured to be responsible for the ascension of the previous Emperor, his uncle, amid fire and blood, Valerius the Trakesian has himself now risen to the Golden Throne of t...
In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man. ...
As they approach adulthood, Cat Barahal and her cousin Bee think they understand the society they live in and their place within it. At a select academy they study new airs...
The Moon and the Sun
Vonda N McIntyre
Louis XIV, the Sun King, rules the Western World from the Chateau at Versailles. Marie- Josèphe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her brother in the scientific ...
Come one come all to greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all. In London there ar...
Who or what is Endymion Spring? A power for good, or for evil... A legendary book that holds the secret to a world of knowledge... A young boy without a voice - whose five-...
Publius Varrus is the last legionnaire in Britain, and The Skystone is in many ways his story. He is a common man with aristocratic friends, and successful both as a soldie...
Dreaming Of Zhou Gong
The Wu have been living in isolation for decades while the Shang Emperor and his enchantress have ruled the land. It has been a terrible time for the common people and the ...
Kepler is like you, but not like you. With a simple touch, Kepler can move into any body, live any life - for a moment, a day or for years. And your life could be next. SOM...
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg
Philip Jose Farmer
About a hundred years ago, a group of mutant supermen began playing a major role in our affairs. It is no accident that Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Captain Nemo, and Doc Savag...
The High King of Montival
Rudi Mackenzie has returned to Montival with the Sword of the Lady, ready to face the legions of the Prophet. To achieve victory, Rudi must assemble a coalition of former e...
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine i...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's just about surviving, so long as he only takes his beloved plane for short journeys, and saves his remaining fuel. But, just once, he picks up a message from another pilot, a...
Beren and Luthien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien wil...
Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn h...
While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya. The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient...
The Ninth Rain
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the real...
The Court of Broken Knives
Anna Smith Spark
They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we pi...
With Blood Upon the Sand
Ceda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further t...