Three unsupervised youngsters traipse around the country to find a magical ring lost for centuries, ending up at an ocean side cave set into a craggy cliff-face. The ring is reputed to have the power to turn hate into love. That is exactly what Kynan needs so he can facilitate a reconciliation between his parents.
When his unhappy parents drop the divorce bomb on him, Kynan is devastated. The next day, on a school field trip, he encounters an odd priest who confides the story of a powerful relic that has been lost for centuries. Enlisting the help of his best friend, and later, a beautiful girl, fluent in several languages, who he has a secret crush on, Kynan embarks on a quest to recover the ring and bring harmony back to his shattered family.
The trio serendipitously uncovers a cryptic prophecy that leads them to a series of clues. Each new piece of information brings them closer to discovering the location of the missing ring. The adventure continues as unlikely pieces of the mystery are found and conclusions are drawn, leading inevitably to the goal.
I would have liked to see the issues and problems given a bit more depth of discussion. The problems get resolved too easily. In some cases, I was astounded by the imaginative leaps taken to decipher the ring’s location. The biggest issue I had with this book, though, was that these kids roamed about freely with little adult knowledge, let alone supervision. The lackadaisical consideration for the children throughout the story did not seem to match up well for me given the story’s ending.
As a mature reader, I often enjoy books geared primarily to the young adult or even the middle grade demographic. This book is the exception, which is fine since I am not in the target reader group. Unfortunately, however, I also would not want to encourage my children or grandchildren to read this book because I feel the lack of any meaningful adult involvement, at least until the “calvary to the rescue” ending, is alarming. The opportunity for the children to learn from this experience seems too trivialized, as illustrated by the comment Kynan makes near the end of the story that he is “grounded forever”.
Nothing in Kynan Murphy's life is going right. His grades are horrible, he's always in trouble, and the girl he likes doesn't know he exists. But things go from bad to worse when his parents tell him they have decided to split up. Angry and confused, he wants nothing more than to lash out against the world. The closest thing he can find, however, is the Saint Valentine shrine during a school field trip. Armed with some fireworks and encouraged by his best friend, Michael Connell, he's all set to vent his frustration with life.
His best laid plans fail when a mysterious priest confronts him, sharing an ancient secret about a hidden ring with special powers. Kynan believes the answer to all his problems and the only way to fix his parents' broken marriage is to find the ring — a task he won't be able to accomplish on his own.
It was easy enough to convince his friend Michael to join him, but the irritating Brianna Collins insists on tagging along. Fortunately, her knack for language and interest in history is a valuable asset in the search. Their quest leads them to the northern coast and into dangerous territory where, in spite of theirgood intentions, they may lose their own lives.