book 1: The book of secrets
Gabe stared in horror at the small book in his hand. The light from the low fire danced across its golden cover, setting off a shower of sparkles from the rainbow of jewels that adorned it. Its beauty was dulled only in one corner, stained by a dark, spreading smudge of blood.
What’s the secret of the book, and why is it so valuable? These are the questions Gabe must answer when a dying man hands him a coded manuscript with one instruction: take it to Aidan. Gabe is hurled into a quest that takes him beyond his monastery home and into a world of danger, intrigue, adventure and unexpected friendship – a quest that will challenge everything he thought he knew about right and wrong.
Listen to chapter 1
What reviewers are saying
“This book is so much fun! … It’s packed with action, adventure, danger, and an intriguing mystery … the story flows effortlessly with a comfortable balance of action, exposition, and dialogue. I’d recommend The Book of Secrets for mid-grade readers through teens, but adults will enjoy this adventure as well.” – Barb Hopkins
“Both novels are action-packed, with problems to solve, humour to enjoy and heroes to admire. I loved that the protagonists are such an interesting and diverse bunch.” – Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook
“This is a riveting read that hooks you in from the first page and has you connecting immediately with the protagonist and his predicament. It is the first book in AL Tait’s new Ateban Cipher series and certainly leaves you hanging, wanting desperately to know if Gabe and his new friends will manage the journey to the book’s ultimate destination and learn its secrets. My 10 year old loved this and can’t wait to read number two!” – Sarah Wallace, Kids’ Book Review
“This exciting fantasy novel aimed at the 9 to 12 age group will satisfy readers, and leave them wanting more. Its fast-paced plot balances a sensitive thoughtful narrator with his newly‑found‑rescuers-turned-friends so that by the time they all figure out the codes and clues, readers have been entertained and engaged.”
– Trish Buckley, Children’s Books Daily
“What an exciting series Tait has begun. With lots of twists and turns in the story, children from 9 and up will enjoy the escapism from reality. The author has a unique style with the ability to create memorable characters and equally exciting action. It will be a hit with both boys and girls as Tait has successfully created strong characters representing both genders. Being set in a fantastical middle ages, and the storyline representing a mix of Robin Hood and Rangers Apprentice, the audience can not ask for much else. Themes such as friendship, perseverance and adventure are strong throughout the book. A must have for the library.”
– Kathryn Schumacher, ReadPlus
“This fantastic adventure story has all the hallmarks of a classic tale, full of twist and turns and fabulous characters like the band of feisty girls led by Gwyn who help Gabe reach his destination. I can’t wait for book 2!“
– Kids’ Reading Guide 2017-2018
“With high-action, mystery and the threat of a hanging, The Book Of Secrets is an exciting adventure read and an immersive story. From the cloisters of Oldham Abbey to the castle dungeons, from thick forest to Rothwell Town, readers will feel like they are there.” Sandy Fussell, The Sunday Telegraph
“One absolutely top-notch adventure. It will appeal to both boys and girls and they will no doubt not only embrace it but be eager for more. Highly recommended for readers from around eight years upwards.”
– Sue Warren, Just So Stories
“A.L. Tait has created a story and characters that are enthralling, exciting and individual, and I adored reading it, and am keen for the next book to find out what happens.”
– Ashleigh Meikle, The Book Muse
“Tait builds a believable and evocative middle ages world, rich in historical detail – think dungeons, danger, archery and royal double-crossings … High on energy, The Book of Secrets is a compelling read with twists and turns to keep you guessing, and sets up a whole new exciting adventure for the next installment.”
– Liz Ledden, Buzz Words magazine
“This is a terrific, fast-paced book for young readers filled with action and wonderful characters. I was hooked from the moment the dying monk handed Gabe a coded manuscript with instructions to take it to Aidan. And who or where is Aidan? Can’t say! Best of all, this is the first book in a new series.”
– The Book Bird
“This is a fast-paced adventure story with a touch of the magical. There is plenty of action, swordplay, fast talking and improbable plans … it should be enjoyed by young readers.”
– Rebecca Kemble, CBCA Reading Time
book 2: The book of answers
An orphan in exile. A band of rebel girls. And a prince whose throne has been stolen. Come on a journey full of danger, intrigue, adventure and incredible secrets.
‘The Ateban Cipher,’ Lucien continued, ‘is also known as the Book of Answers.’
‘Answers to what?’ Eddie asked.
Lucien sighed. ‘Everything.
In the second gripping Ateban Cipher novel, Gabe and his companions’ journey to a remote mountain citadel where they learn the secret of the mysterious, encrypted book that Gabe has been tasked with protecting. But their enemies are close behind them, and new dangers lie ahead.
As Eddie seeks to regain his crown, and Merry and Gwyn race to free their father, Gabe will discover the answer to his own great mystery – his true identity.
What reviewers are saying
“I would recommend this two-book series to kids 8+ who want a gripping read that will entertain them, a book that will transport them to a place far away that’s full of adventure, danger and mystery. I believe these are books that will equally please boy and girl readers, and hope they will enjoy them as much as I did.” – Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook
“I really enjoyed The Book of Answers from start to finish, and then wished there was more. It’s a great escape from our modern world and I love being swept into a story that takes me on a journey … Pick up the Ateban Cipher duology today. I highly recommend The Book of Answers and loved how the two books effortlessly merged into one grand adventure.” – Barb Hopkins
This is the kind of thrilling adventure that has readers turning the pages as fast as they can devour the story along the way discerning many important themes about trust, loyalty, ingenuity and courage.
“A .L. Tait’s knack for creating these gripping and often tense exploits has been well demonstrated in her Mapmaker Chronicles series (as a reader said to me in the last week of school – “I just LOVE this series – it keeps you on the edge of your seat!”) and now continues the success with this new series.” – Sue Warren, Just So Stories
“The characters dive straight into the action … which makes reading this book quick, and exciting, as I wanted to see what would happen at each turn. Aimed at middle grade readers, it can be enjoyed by anyone who is interested, boys and girls. A great read.” Ashleigh Meikle, The Book Muse