Spencer and the Lake Union Adventurers are back in the sequel to The Emerald City (also
reviewed on Myshelf).
Released at the same time as the first book, The Castle of Bran, is a wonderful follow up
on this great bunch of kids. In this one, after a series of celebrations to recognize the Lake
Union Adventurers, Spencer and his friends and family travel to Romania to help family friend
Luther Baum discover whether he is truly the lost heir of the Behrone family, masters of Castle
Bran. Because there will be fifteen people traveling to Romania, they are divided into two groups.
Spencer and his best friend Maddie are lucky enough to travel with Luther Baum, Spencer's grandmother,
and the mysterious Maxwell Hubbard in first-class luxury in the first group. Spencer's parents, his
sister, and the rest of Adventurers and their families followed in coach on a later flight.
En route, Spencer and Maddie discover portions of the story that had happened during World War II
and plunged all of them into the intrigue that happened in the first book. Spencer is especially
interested in the part his grandfather played in the events that had repercussions almost seventy
years later. But what surprises Spencer further is the fact that Castle Bran was once the home of
Vlad Tepes, the Romanian ruler who came to be known as Vlad the Impaler or Count Dracula.
Combining ancient curses, the grave of Vlad Tepes, and some amazing adventures, The Castle of
Bran answers a lot of questions the first book left open, but it also provides yet another look
at these plucky kids and what they can do. Like the first book, there are great geographic touches,
including information about Romania and its people during World War II.
I really liked both of these books, and it is my wish that author Stephen S. Keeney will continue
to write many more books about Spencer and the Lake Union Adventurers. There's a whole world out
there that these kids can explore and Keeney is just the author to bring that to life!