Land of lost things by Cat Weldon

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The land of lost things is book two in the How to be a hero trilogy. It picks up the story just weeks after the end of book one, which is an absolute must-read before diving into this one.

At the end of book one, scruffy Viking boy Whetstone has achieved a heroic task and been given a new quest, along with a riddle. The quest is to find two prized harp strings (before Loki does!), while the riddle reveals clues to the possible whereabouts of his missing parents. Whetstone is now keen to get started on both the quest and unravelling the riddle but is equally keen not to have to do it alone. His new friend Lotta, the trainee Valkyrie, has promised to help him.

The story telling in this book is funny and chaotic, and starts with Whetstone and Lotta separated before their stories intersect again. There are multiple betrayals, misunderstandings and new characters involved – all of which test both the reader (in keeping up!) as well as our two protagonists.

Whetstone and Lotta are, after all, still getting to know each other. Like every new friendship they must communicate effectively and learn to take into consideration what is important to the other. Whetstone desperately wants to find his parents, while Lotta has had her shield stolen and her Valkyrie powers along with it. The pair navigates a tricky path through mistakes and hurt feelings, and come out the other side as better friends, with greater understanding and support of one another.

As with the first book, the illustrations here are cartoony and fun and are full of over-exaggerated facial expressions that tweens will love.  This instalment ends with some big mysteries solved but many questions still unanswered.

This book includes a sneak peek at chapter one of the final instalment in the trilogy (A gathering of giants – due out in January 2022) as well as some fun activities such as a God/Goddess name generator and a slimy recipe.

Themes: Adventure, Norse mythology, Friendship, Bravery, Vikings.

Kylie Grant