The Mapmaker Chronicles book #2: Prisoner of the Black Hawk

The Mapmaker Chronicles is an exciting adventure series about a race to map the world
... and a boy who discovers more than he ever imagined.

Race to the End of the World (Book 1)

The King is determined to discover what lies beyond the known world, and has promised  handsome prize to the ship’s captain who can bring him a map. To do that, they’ll need mapmakers – and 14-year-old Quinn is shocked to be one of the chosen. While his older brothers long for adventure, Quinn is content with a quiet life on the farm, but when word of his special talent gets out, he has no choice but to pack his bags and join the mismatched crew of slaves and stowaways on board the Libertas.

What reviewers are saying

"Wow. I did not know what to expect with this book, so I was utterly transfixed when it just blew me away. Quinn is utterly fascinating as a character ... The world built by Tait is extraordinarily realistic and engaging ... The story has many twists and turns, making for an engaging read as the book carries on. I would recommend this to fans of adventure and medieval-type settings!"This Kid Reviews Books

"I would recommend these books to kids 8-12 who like adventure, who love to enter a detailed, believable fictional world, who like action, flashes of humour, quests and moments of nail-biting tension. These are rattling good yarns, well-told."
Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook

Part fantasy quest, part peril on the high seas, Race to the End of the World is rollicking fun. Not since Emily Rodda’s Deltora Quest series has there been such an exciting adventure tale from an Australian author … perfect for readers aged 8 to 12 who are looking for some escapism in the sea of contemporary stories.” – 
Holly Harper,

Stories as vivid and utterly engaging as The Mapmaker Chronicles are rare…if you need a Christmas book for a reader (male or female) from about 9+, this is it!” 
Megan Daley, Children’s Book Daily

Mystery, monsters, murder and mayhem all feature in this action-packed adventure that will appeal to boys and girls alike.” 
Kids’ Book Review

Other lovely stuff

Prisoner of the Black Hawk (Book 2)

After being betrayed by a fellow scribe, Quinn is captured by ruthless explorer Juan Forden, who will stop at nothing to beat the Verdanians. On board Forden’s ship, the Black Hawk, Quinn struggles to outwit his captors, makes new enemies and unexpected allies, and encounters bloodthirsty pirates.

Prisoner of the Black Hawk continues the story that began in The Race to the End of the World. The story is filled with a wonderful sense of old-fashioned adventure with sword fights, narrow escapes, daring plans, betrayed trust and the exciting discovery of new people, ideas, animals and places.

What reviewers are saying

"Tait has gloriously met the standards set precedent in the first book in the series with this sequel. Tait has a definite knack for writing tales that grabs the reader by the heart and doesn’t let go until the very end. To say I am hooked is putting things lightly." – This Kid Reviews Books

“The work of Australian author A L Tait, The Mapmaker Chronicles is a fantastic series for readers who love stories filled with adventure and suspense. The story has a slight edge of danger that is just enough to thrill the reader and keep pages turning.”  
Kids’ Book Review

“The story unfolds in such a gripping way that I found this second book in the series almost impossible to put down and read 95% at one sitting. This series is a great read by an Australian author and children will be transported to a world of action and human endeavour in a most exciting and satisfying way … Book Three will be eagerly awaited.”  

Other lovely stuff

Breath of the Dragon (Book 3)

The prize for winning the race around the world is almost within reach. But sometimes the biggest danger can lie close to home.

Quinn, Ash, Zain and the crew of the Libertas are racing against the clock to get back to Verdania before the King’s deadline. Will they make it in time? Will Quinn complete the first map of the whole world? Will Zain bring back enough treasure to satisfy the King? Will they win the race to the end of the world?

Or will their enemies stop them from getting back at all?

What reviewers are saying

"This was a thrilling installment for The Mapmaker Chronicles. Tait brings the first two books successfully together as the race to map the world comes to a close. Yet Tait doesn’t let that mean no more action and dilemmas for our characters! There is a lot going on in this book, but it all rounds out to be a fine conclusion, leaving room for another book, but still concluding the adventure of the past few books." – This Kid Reviews Books

“I highly recommend A. L. Tait’s Mapmaker Chronicles – Breath of the Dragon, as a must-read book for independent readers, and as a shared reader for classrooms. The inclusion of a map at the end of the book will open up the imagination of readers to recount events, and encourage them create their own Mapmaker Chronicles stories in the locations on the map.”
Juliann Wallace, Creative Kids Tales

“The Mapmaker Chronicles showcases a vivid imagination and gift for storytelling which marries fantasy and reality together to great effect and is bound to be a favourite series on the bookshelf.” 
Hilary Smillie, 
Buzz Words Magazine

“A.L. Tait’s fantasy narrative delivers strong, feisty characters who learn resilience, perseverance and the importance of friendship. The map-making race to chart their world provides a rich and rewarding setting. She has populated the kingdom with an incredible array of people and animals and her attention to detail engages the reader in the story. As the trilogy concludes dramatically, the audience is left wanting more.” 
Rhyllis Bignell, ReadPlus

“This has been the best fantasy story sequence I have read in the past twelve months or so, and here it comes to a highly satisfactory conclusion … Similarities between the appeal of this series and that of John Flanagan’s Rangers’ Apprentice series have been made—and I can understand why. Both series make excellent reading for capable readers – both boys and girls of 10-14 years.” 
Janet Croft Book Reviews

Beyond The Edge Of The Map (Book 4)

Quinn is back! The race to map the world is over and he’s living a quiet life on the family farm – until he discovers that the King’s enemies want to capture him. Quinn is forced to go on the run, taking to the high seas once more. Can he survive when he is double-crossed and left for dead?

As Quinn’s journey unfolds, readers will find familiar faces, new faces and – well, totally unexpected faces! And Quinn discovers that there’s more to every story – including his own.

What reviewers are saying

“A.L. Tait has done a brilliant job piecing together a story full of surprises and climaxes, which makes it one terrific, fast-paced tale of survival.”
Children’s Books Daily

A.L. Tait creates characters that are relevant to modern readers without compromising the authenticity of Quinn’s time and place. Quinn is also a hero children can relate to, struggling with fear and self-doubt and, at times, a longing for home. We feel Quinn’s joy when he greets a friend and his fear when faced with an old foe.”
Holly Bidwell

I really enjoyed reading the whole series with my son. Thank you A.L. Tait for giving him a reason to beg for ‘one more chapter’ rather than ‘one more level’ on his screens.”
Marie McLean




The Book of Secrets (Book 1)

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. It’s 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.