The second book in the trilogy, "Fluff Dragon," finds the young protagonists in another magical realm trying to find the magic that will transport them home. They meet some unique otherworldly creatures that add humor to this delightful story.
"FLUFF DRAGON: Book Two of the Bad Unicorn Trilogy," by Platte F. Clark, Aladdin Books, $16.99, 385 pages (f) (ages 8 and up) In "Bad Unicorn," the first book of Platte Clark's Bad Unicorn trilogy, Ben Spencer and his friends are teleported to "not someplace else but somewhere else": Magrus, the magical realm. Here they meet frobbits, fairies and a sundry of otherworldly creatures including the unicorn Princess the Destroyer. She is on the hunt for Max and the Codex of Infinite Knowability because it contains magic answers and "the most powerful magic will win the day." What Max begins to realize is that he is the heir, the only one who carries the bloodline to ultimately understand and use the Codex. For that reason, his life is in danger. A character named Bellastro advises Max to "believe in yourself and never lose faith" as the boy seeks ways to return to Techrus, the human world. The sequel, "Fluff Dragon," finds Max and his school buddies still in the mysterious future when Obsikar, the dragon king, seeks their help saving all the dragons whose lives are threatened by Rezormoor Dreadbringer, regent of the Wizard's Tower. While Max carries the most powerful book of magic, the Codex of Infinite Knowability, it needs rebooting that must take place where it was created, in the Wizard's Tower. Things happen fast in the Seven Kingdoms as Max, his friend, two fire cats and a fluff dragon search for the tower. Battles ensue with creatures of the dark magic, especially Princess the Destroyer, who shifts from unicorn to rainbro ("never call it a rainbow") and then human as she conjures traps for Max and the Codex. At a crucial point, Max makes a bargain with Rezormoor to save his own life and those of his friends by making armor constructed from dragon's escutcheon, scales so "powerful that neither magic or blade can penetrate them." While "Bad Unicorn" and "Fluff Dragon" follow a popular dystopian theme - child protagonists are transported to another domain and use magic to fight evil - Clark's original settings and characters are fresh and new and are filled with wildly imaginative dialogue and pithy humor. The storyline is clever, are the language is clean and appropriate for all ages. Battles scenes are more spoof than violent. The book titles connote ironic images. Classic unicorns often depicted as innocent and lovable as they produce cheer and good luck. In this trilogy, the unicorn is bad and shape-shifts into a carnivorous creature whose greatest reward will be an "all-you-can-eat human buffet in a place called Texas." Dragons traditionally spew fire and threaten lives. Fluff Dragon has the tender personality her name suggests. She has her "scales on backwards," so they're hard on the inside and fluffy-pillow soft on the outside, just right for making toupees, which happen to be Rezormoor's greatest pride. Both books read with tongue-in-cheek theatrical puns, slang and social commentary tucked in at just the right places. While the human characters and the magic creatures are portrayed with engaging personalities (Max is insecure, Dirk is a computer geek and Rezormoor is a bombastic thug), the author subtly exposes ultimate changes throughout the adventure. Max learns skills he never suspected he had, Rezormoor pitifully pleads for mercy and Princess admits that always being treacherous is a heavy burden. Clark develops a layered plot as he shows Max's attempts to reclaim the mystery of the Codex as well as his being enmeshed in the power struggles of the Seven Kingdoms. Some characters that exist in the Magrus world share characterists with humans from Max's world. For example, a scheming Kraken coincidentally shares traits with a bully from Max's school. While Max and his friends appear to be closer to the magical know-how that will transport them home, actually making that invisible leap will not be easy. After all, "Nobody goes on adventures because they're easy." Readers will surely be eager for the final book in the Bad Unicorn trilogy.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D162184%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E