Review! The Portal and the Veil by Ted Sanders

The Portal and the Veil
Series: The Keepers #3
By Ted Sanders
608 pages – ages 10+
Published by HarperCollins on June 26, 2018

Synopis from Publisher- “Horace F. Andrews and his friends are fighting the battle of their lives, a battle that will decide the fate of everyone and everything they love. As Wardens and Keepers of Tan’ji, the fabled talismans of power, it is their duty to keep the world safe from those who would destroy it. But all is not as it seems.
Sometimes there are too many secrets, and too many places to stumble in the dark. When one powerful Keeper and his Tan’ji are kidnapped, the Wardens have to ask who could have betrayed them. Who could have let the enemy into their stronghold?”

What I Thought- Wow. This book was absolutely riveting – so much happens within its covers. Between the nonstop action and the characters discovering answers to their questions about themselves, this book is an absolute powerhouse. It hits you like a steamroller going well over its normal speed capacity. Everything just fits together so cleanly, the plot never feeling forced a bit as everything goes incredibly wrong for the characters at frightening speeds. An interesting factor was that we are following several groups of characters at different locations at the same time. This can be tricky sometimes. It can be hard to follow if done inadequately- but Sanders is everything but inadequate.The book is one of the best ones I’ve read in a while. Sanders is a master of his craft, able to keep readers hanging onto his every word while he is in the midst of continuously dashing their hope against dangerously large pillars hanging over a cliff with rapidly moving water and sharp rocks waiting below it. He’s that good – trust me. Sanders has a clear writing style that I wish to be able to emulate some day. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!



Book four just went on sale yesterday!!! Need to get my hands on it! 

Categories: Age 9+

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13 replies

  1. Great review, Erik. You are back in the review blog game. Best wishes on your own writing journey.

  2. I’m glad that it was riveting because 608 pages, whew!

    • Oh, it was! I’ve found that if a book is really attention-grabbing, page amount doesn’t matter so much – I just gobble up the story. 🙂

  3. As usual from you – a great review! I was blown away by the cover, so the combo is sure to make a place on my reading list.
    I was wondering, given the discussions we’ve always had about Middle Grade books. You put this at 10+ years. Is it too old for MG? Just right? Maybe okay for upper MG? Or does your taste tend towards what they call YA these days (which in my mind is really teen)?

    • Great questions for Erik. I call MG for 8-12 year olds, but we all know there are many levels of readers in that group. I love how Erik mentioned cautious reading when there are curse words. I love Cornelia Funke, but she sometimes used curse words…( Her books are filed under FIC/FUN !!)

      • Thank you for your support – those are really good points. One of the things that’s made me a bit sad for middle-grade is how much I’ve seen foul language used in books nowadays. And I get that it’s a very fine line. Kids need to see characters they can relate with, and sadly, a lot of middle school kids I know curse. I feel like books shouldn’t encourage it, but I also can see how kids won’t relate to characters like themselves. The solution I see for this issue is to, if you feel curse words are necessary, have them uttered by characters that should not be emulated (villains). Does that make any sense?

      • I agree with you Erik about the cursing. I even wrote to Cornelia Funke and her publisher about it! Thanks for responding.
        Beth Schmelzer

      • It really is a tricky line, but if everyone got to writing letters and emails like you did, we at least would get a clearer line. Even if it’s not quite what we would like, at least it would be a clear matter and not such a blurry line. If that makes any sense at all.

    • Thank you Ms. Pett. These are really great questions. The age-range I put a book at is usually my perceived difficulty level for the book. For example, a 10-year-old should be able to read this book without it being too challenging for them. I personally think kids that young shouldn’t be reading foul language (and that it shouldn’t be in MG at all) but that doesn’t really change the difficulty of the book. Also, I’m not quite sure if I was clear that there isn’t much foul language – just enough for me to mention it as a concern for middle grade readers. I hope that answered your question. Feel free to ask more!

  4. What an awesome MG series. Haven’t heard about it before now! Enjoyed the above comments. It gets tricky trying to figure out the ages — and it depends on the readers. But this sounds like a solid MG book. They are making a difference in their world.

    • It’s a really neat series, with an interesting fantasy world that Sanders created. The age range issue is tricky, particularly because I feel that, besides the kids themselves, parents should have the most sort of choice with what their child reads. I just try to inform as best as possible.


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