Master storyteller P.W. Catanese begins the Books of Umber trilogy with Happenstance Found—now available in paperback—when twelve-yearold Happenstance awakens in a cave with no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. Lord Umber and his companions rescue Hap, and the group sets out on dangerous and unusual missions that continue in Dragon Games.
Hap’s and Umber’s journeys take them to the corrupt kingdom of Sarnica, where Umber’s nemesis has acquired some dragon eggs. Umber wants to study a new magical species, but what starts as a quest for knowledge turns into a dangerous rescue operation. The deft plotting of these actionpacked, heart-stopping adventures will pique the imagination and leave readers anxious for the final installment.
Catanese (the Further Tales Adventures) dazzles in the first of the planned Books of Umber series by wittily subverting genre tropes. Happenstance, a boy with strange green eyes, wakes up in a cave with no memories of who he is or anything about the fantastic world in which he lives. He soon encounters Lord Umber, an adventurer who seems familiar with our world as well as his own, and his two companions a brute cursed to be forever truthful and a one-handed artist and archer. En route to Umber s home, they discover that Hap can see in the dark, leap many feet in the air, speak numerous languages and go without sleep. As the group attempts to learn about his origins, they re forced to confront a supernatural assassin and secrets from Umber s own mysterious past. Catanese packs a lot into the book: rich characterizations (Umber, who turns out to be from another dimension, suffers from depression and wishes he had his meds), well-choreographed action sequences and genuinely surprising twists at the end. As auspicious start to the series. Ages 8-12.