Book Review: Beyond the Edge of the Map by A.L. Tait

“There are times when facts are helpful and times when a little bit of fanciful thinking goes a long way.”  (Jed)

Beyond the Edge of the Map: The Mapmaker Chronicles, chapter 6

Quinn Freeman has set sail again! It’s another adventure for the young mapmaker as author A.L. Tait presents readers with Beyond the Edge of the Map, the fourth book of The Mapmaker Chronicles.

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The story opens six moons after Quinn wins the race to map the world. His family has settled into the Manor, the prize earned for his accomplishments at sea. While Quinn’s beautiful and incredibly accurate map is now in current use by the Verdanians, there is still more out there. However, Quinn is relegated to staying on land and making copies of the map, per orders of the king. When there’s an attempt on Quinn’s life by another land who wants the mapmaker and his skills, everything changes. It’s decided Quinn would be safest back out at sea and he sets sail taking his brothers Jed and Allyn with him.

Unfortunately for Quinn, he’s not to sail aboard the Libertas with Captain Zain, but the Freeman brothers must board the Rose of the North as per King Orel’s request. They are now at the mercy of Lord Thornton who has assured the King that he’ll do everything in his power to protect Quinn. When Quinn discovers Lord Thornton has plotted against Quinn, the brothers escape from the Rose of the North only to find themselves lost on an island.

Quinn, Jed, Allyn, and the little pup named Leif face many life-threatening obstacles in their quest to find their way back home. They encounter new wildlife, suffer from hunger, and go on the run from the Peatlanders determined to find Quinn and take him to their land. Quinn also meets an old enemy and must decide if he’s to be trusted in this new situation.

I really enjoyed Beyond the Edge of the Map. Like the first three books in the series, it held my attention page after page. Quinn has rapidly become one of my favorite young fictional heroes. He’s definitely evolved over the course of the series, and it was nice to watch him take charge a bit more. This time he didn’t have Zain to offer sage advice or to save him from peril. Quinn had to make several difficult decisions and convince his two older brothers that he knew what he was doing.

Author A..L. Tait brings back all our favorite Mapmaker Chronicles characters, from the sassy, smart Ash to the Libertas crew and even a few pages of Zain (one of my favs from the first three books). There’s plenty of action, including several heart-stopping moments as the Freeman brothers battle for their lives.

I recommend Beyond the Edge of the Map by A.L. Tait as a very entertaining mid-grade/younger YA read. It’s an action-adventure that can be enjoyed by all ages and would make a great read-aloud book for families or in the classroom/library. You could read it as a stand-alone, there’s just enough background from the first three books shared, but I think it’s best to read the entire series. You really don’t want to miss out on getting to know Quinn Freeman and experiencing his adventures at sea as a young mapmaker charting unknown territories.

Please head over to A.L. Tait’s website and check out her entire Mapmaker series as well as her other books.

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Writer and reader by day, reader and writer by night. I freelance full-time, have finished the first book of my YA trilogy, and am working on several other projects.

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