By: Marilou Sorensen, Deseret News"INFINITY RING, Book 7: The Iron Empire,” by James Dashner, Scholastic, $12.99, 190 pages (f) (8-12)
The three young Hystorians, Sera, Dak and Riq, are on their final time-shift mission. It is the Prime Break, the beginning of the Hystorians, before the Infinity Ring, Time Wardens and the SQ. Their mission is 336 B.C. in Corinth, Greece, and Aristotle doesn't even know about the secret Hystorian Society that he is yet to create.
The young time-travelers have three weeks to inform Aristotle of their mission and then to prevent the Prime Break, stopping the assassination of King Phillip and his son, Alexander the Third at the hands of the bodyguard Pausanius.
Locating Aristotle in Corinth is no easy task, but when they do the great philosopher listens to the young Hystorians story. He is skeptical at first but finally convinced of the mission's purpose.
The three-week timeframe is usurped by the appearance of “a woman with hair of flames and lips of tar” rumored to have already murdered Alexander. It is Tilda, a powerful SQ who came to fix history for her own benefit.
Using the Infinity Ring, the Hystorians and Aristotle travel three days back in time to protect Alexander from the assassin knowing that his death would unravel history, making reality unstable for the future.
“The Iron Empire” is the seventh in the multiauthor and multiplatform
Infinity Ring series where the three youngsters slip through time to correct Great Breaks of the past.
One pivotal point in "The Iron Empires" regarding the complexity of changing history is when they go back to the United States. Dak, wanting to save President Abraham Lincoln's life, goes to the Ford Theatre and pleads with him to leave the play so he won't be shot.
Dak is made to realize that such a change in the present would make history unstable. President Lincoln explains, “If you say that you're from the future, then I believe you…. there's a lesson I want you to learn. My path has been laid before me. As has yours… Now go and walk your path… make the world a better place.”
In “The Iron Empire," author James Dashner's excellent characterizations reflect the growth of the three Hystorians as they've developed into best friends when final decisions are shared and appreciated.
Also, the author, who penned the first in the series titled "A Mutiny in Time
," has skillfully kept the protagonists faithful to their contemporary ages through dialogue and temperament even though they've traveled into distant lands and diverse eras meeting some of the world's most powerful people. The language is appropriate for middle-readers with no detailed violence.
Since this is seventh and last in the announced series, the Infinity Ring will supposedly no longer take the youngsters on missions to fix history. The SQ is no more.
Or is it?
Each of the books in the series are packages with a full-color Hystorian's Guide serving as a key to unlocking the next adventure. The guide in “The Iron Empire” is titled “Stop the Lady in Red.” Notice is given of an eighth Infinity Ring book titled “Eternity" by author Matt de la Pena and the website infinityring.scholastic.com
indicates that it's due out in August.
It appears the Hystorians are about to launch on another mission.
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