Amulet Book Two: The Stonekeeper’s Curse

Writer / Artist
Amulet Book Two: The Stonekeeper’s Curse
Amulet Book 2 The Stonekeeper's Curse review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Scholastic/Graphix - 978-0-4398-4683-7
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2009
  • UPC: 9780439846837
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

Amulet is the story of Emily and her younger brother Navin, transported to an alternate fantasy version of Earth known as Alledia via the basement of their great-grandfather’s spooky old house. Emily has accepted the power of an amulet that’s melded with her, and it enabled the rescue of her mother, although unfortunately not without cost. She lies in a coma requiring medicine only available in the city. Still, when you have willing allies within a walking house as seen on the cover, the options aren’t restricted.

Kazu Kibuishi produced a thrilling opening volume in The Stonekeeper, and continues the adventure with the surprise of first showing elf Prince Tellis, seemingly a character whose purpose has been served. If there was any doubt concerning the danger elves pose in Alledia, it’s dispelled early. The only way to deal with them is to use the power of the amulet. Kibuishi also incorporates prophecy to introduce foreboding, along with Emily’s life now somehow chosen for her as only she can prevent the evil elf king ruling the entire world. It’s a heavy duty to hang on young shoulders, but such is the burden of fantasy.

As throughout, Kibuishi keeps things simple, both artistically and with the information that seeps out, but this isn’t in a way that impairs the adventure. The explanations drop in naturally and when needed, and it’s emphasised that while Emily is willing, much instruction awaits. It’s not anything new, but an intelligent twisting of the possibilities fantasy offers. He borrows a trick from Lord of the Rings, with Emily’s use of the amulet accompanied by a voice pointing out how seductive it is. Accompanying sometimes harsh lessons are new characters, with Leon the warrior fox standing out. Too much fantasy features large casts, many of whom are redundant apart from one specific purpose, but Kibuishi is careful to ensure everyone plays a part.

A thrilling prolonged finish brings The Stonekeeper’s Curse to a satisfying conclusion and wipes the slate clean for the next chapter in The Cloud Searchers. After two volumes younger readers were hooked on Emily’s quest, shown by Amulet’s bestseller list status, and time hasn’t diminished the appeal.