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The Basilisk's Lair by R. L. LaFevers
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Coming from a long, genealogical line of beastologists (whose mission it is to save mythical creatures, not kill them) young Nathaniel sets out alongside his Aunt Phil to return the escaped "king of serpents" to its cave in the cliffs near the Niger River. Nathaniel watches his aunt in awe as she wheels and deals Indiana Jones-style to get them onto a mail plane and then on a small canoe up the river, and then speaks to the Dolan of the village near the caves. But Aunt Phil needs his help, too, to navigate the furrows over the desert, draw a map of the basilisk's path across the land, and to save her when their basilisk mission goes awry. Nathaniel often feels embarrassed or scared, since this is only his second mission, and readers will identify with his emotions about trying something new. Short chapters and sentences, broken up with black and white drawings every 3-4 pages, will help emerging readers stay on track. A few passages refer unclearly to the events in the first book, so this may be a series that should be read in order. Younger Harry Potter fans will love this series. Recommended for grades 2-5. ( )
  jessicaschmidt917 | Nov 27, 2012 |
Nate is with his aunt in West Africa, when it becomes clear that a basilisk has escaped and must be captured. Together with his best friend, a gremlin, Nate springs into action, despite his doubts about his ability. Exciting. Some somewhat sophisticated language. Unique in that it portrays traditional African Songhay culture in very specific ways.
  EthicalCultureLib | Nov 8, 2010 |
Reviewed by Joan Stradling for TeensReadToo.com

After saving the Phoenix from extinction, ten-year-old Nate continues his adventures with his Aunt Phil. This time they're headed to Africa to investigate the escape of a basilisk. Nate is supposed to "watch and learn" as his aunt deals with this dangerous and deadly beast that can kill with just a look.

Unfortunately, things tend to go wrong when Nate and his best friend, Greasle (a gremlin), are around. Things won't be easy, especially when it seems someone released the basilisk on purpose. Not only must they recapture the basilisk, but Nate and Aunt Phil must find a way to protect the only copy of the Book of Beasts from a sinister man set on stealing it.

This is a great series for readers of all ages to enjoy. The plot is quick-moving and exciting, keeping the reader turning the pages and hoping for more.

I haven't had this much fun reading a series in a long time! I loved getting to know Nate, Aunt Phil, and Greasle in THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, and was thrilled (and a little scared) to follow these characters into THE BASILISK'S LAIR. I can't wait to get my hands on Nate's next adventure as he scours the Welsh countryside for THE WYVERN'S TREASURE. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 4, 2010 |
What can I say....I read this throughout the course of a day! Why? Because...it's just THAT good! Fell in love with the series after reading book one....book two was a definite joy to read as I stepped back into the world of Nathaniel Fludd and his newly found beastologist duties. Recommended read for all ages....young or young at heart, the magic will sweep you away....Happy reading! ( )
  GRgenius | Aug 28, 2010 |
The continuing adventures of beastologist-in-training, Nathaniel Fludd, as he accompanies his intrepid Aunt Phil on a dangerous mission across West Africa to find a deadly basilisk that is missing and begins to find clues relating to the mysterious disappearance of his parents.
  prkcs | Aug 19, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0547238673, Hardcover)

Product Description
Nate Fludd, Beastologist, is back in the camel saddle in hot pursuit of a missing, deadly Basilisk--the King of Serpents. As if saving an entire Dhughani village from the Basilisk's poisonous gaze isn't difficult enough, Nate and Aunt Phil must begin to piece together the mystery of his parents' disappearance and protect the lone copy of the Fludd Book of Beasts from a sinister man who always seem to be one step ahead of them. Pack your goggles, rue, and an extra pair of gloves and join Nate on another unbelievable adventure--there's no rest for the world's youngest beastologist-in-training!

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from R.L. LaFevers, Author of The Basilisk's Lair

Dear Amazon Reader,

When I was a child growing up in Los Angeles, my mother had a weakness for exotic creatures. Consequently, I grew up surrounded by a true menagerie of birds, pets, and brothers. We had an aviary in our back yard, a flock of chickens (one of which was a house chicken!) rabbits, a goat, pet chipmunks, half a dozen cats, three dogs, and, for a short while, a baby anteater. However, probably the most unusual pets we acquired during that time were two baby bear cubs. Much to our surprise, they were not nearly as soft and cuddly as teddy bears would lead one to believe. The bears were caged in my room, giving it the faint aroma of a zoo. One day, when I was at school, the bears escaped their cage, completely destroyed my room, leaped out of the window, and ran down the block where they climbed a very tall tree, then could not figure out how to get back down. That was the day my mother decided we'd probably had had enough exotic pets.

Needless to say, the exposure to all of these creatures greatly shaped my young life. I've always held a special place for animals in my heart and they have figured prominently in my books.

While researching another project, I stumbled across a medieval bestiary, the ultimate zoological authority of its time, and I was fascinated by all the mythical creatures listed in there as factual. Right around that same time, I also read about the modern day discovery of new animal species. It drove home for me just how vast and mysterious our planet was, and who knew what could be living in its hidden valleys, unexplored deserts, and remote mountaintops. Thus the world of Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist was born.

-R.L. LaFevers

(Photo © Rick Carter)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:20 -0400)

The continuing adventures of beastologist-in-training, Nathaniel Fludd, as he accompanies his intrepid Aunt Phil on a dangerous mission across West Africa to find a deadly basilisk that is missing and begins to find clues relating to the mysterious disappearance of his parents.… (more)

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