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The Secret of Berry Brae Circle (The Red King Trilogy, Book 2) by E.M. McIntyre

The Secret of Berry Brae Circle, The Red King Trilogy, E.M. McIntyre, Young Adult, Fantasy, book review, On My Kindle Book Reviews

Source: I received a free copy of this book with the option of leaving an honest review.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date: March 1, 2017

Back Cover

A kidnapped father. An ancient tome. A mystical gem. When 14-yr old Abby Fletcher returns home to present day Scotland with the help of her magical dog, Finlay, she receives a disturbing message: the Book of Shay in exchange for the life of her father. Pressed for time, Abby and the young Scotsman, Rory, set off in search of the mysterious book. In a whirlwind adventure filled with time travel, frightful adversaries and enchanted beings, their path leads to a timeworn stone circle. There, with Berry Brae’s secret revealed, Abby must make a life-changing decision in this second installment of the Red King Trilogy.


After returning home with her mother, Abby is anxious for a surprise reunion between her mother and father; however, a mysterious and ominous email demands that she find the Book of Shay and exchange it for her father's life. Rory, Abby, and Finlay embark on a dangerous adventure through time to retrieve the book for a dreadful adversary. Along the way, the group encounters more secrets to uncover and Abby discovers that she must make a decision that will change her life.

The Secret of Berry Brae Circle is a fantastic second installment of an already promising trilogy!

In this adventurous and fast-paced second installment of the Red King Trilogy, readers will learn more about Finlay's past and the history of the Red King. There is also a sweet, budding romance between two of the characters which I added a certain charm to the plot.

I was thrilled to learn even more about Finlay, and I enjoyed reading as the bond between Finlay and Abby grew. While Finlay was a pivotal character in the first book, I felt that the relationship between him and Abby was still very new and formal. However, in this book, McIntyre really developed Finlay's character and his role in the adventure is akin to that of a bodyguard who has developed a familial-type bond with his charge.

I thought the suspense in the book was well-written. When the group manages to uncover one secret, there is another mystery waiting to be solved. I have seen this type of suspense writing poorly executed by some authors in the past; turning a potentially great plot into a plodding, tedious novel or not really making the connections between the different secrets or mysteries apparent. McIntyre keeps the pace fast and effortlessly helps readers see how the secrets are connected to each other.

All of these secrets and mysteries leads to a whopper of a cliffhanger at the end. I was impressed by McIntyre's ability to wrap up the plot nicely while still giving readers something to look forward to in the next book.

While The Secret of Berry Brae Circle is intended, and appropriate, for young adult readers, adult readers who are looking for an easy to read, entertaining, and unique fantasy will find it an enjoyable escape from the day-to-day grind of reality.

About E.M. McIntyre

The Secret of Berry Brae Circle, The Red King Trilogy, E.M. McIntyre, On My Kindle Book Reviews
E.M. McIntyre, author. Courtesy of Goodreads.
E M McIntyre is the author of the Red King Trilogy. Her first novel, The Phantom of Faerie Mountain won 1st place in YA Fiction for the 2016 Purple Dragonfly awards and Silver placement for YA Mystery in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite awards. E M is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Nebraska where she works as a Pediatric Cancer research lab manager. When not daydreaming of magic, mystery, and mischievous characters, E M enjoys gardening and spending time with her crazy pack of Italian greyhounds.

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Have you read either book in The Red King Trilogy by E.M. McIntyre? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!