240 pages with black and white illustrations. ISBN:9780987461513
"The King's Key: Pie Rats Book 2 picks up where The Forgotten Map leaves off. Recently orphaned (or is he?) Whisker the rat is now firmly ensconced aboard the good ship Apple Pie, where he is accepted as a member of the crew by everyone except the lovely Ruby Rat—or, to put it another way, by everyone except the one person who matters most to him. The young rodent continues his apprenticeship as a Pie Rat even as he and the crew embark on a quest: to find the missing key that will decode the Forgotten Map. What none of the rats knows is that Whisker harbors a hope that the map, once completed, will lead him to his family - if they survived the storm that separated him from them in Book One.
"Naturally, the key seems to be hidden in a location so inaccessible that one cannot reach it without a series of adventures. In the opening pages, the Apple Pie is set upon by the bad ship Dreadnaught, manned by four hundred bellicose crabs who don’t like rats. Later the luckless rodents must navigate a jungle replete with rat-eating plants, and test their skills against a troop of monkeys who insist on a truly nasty game of Death Ball. Yet throughout these travails and more, Whisker keeps his mind on the missing key, and his heart with his family, wherever they are.
"The book on the whole is delightful and very much worth seeking out. The characters are engaging, the storyline jaunty. Furthermore, the book is physically lovely, with a colorful, embossed cover and charming illustrations by the author. And like any good fantasy adventure, it has a map in the frontispiece detailing all the places where the protagonists test their mettle and learn enduring lessons about love, loyalty, and hope unbowed by despair.
"Children or adults seeking a great story will consider themselves lucky to have found The King's Key."