HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Tripods, Book 2: The City of Gold and Lead
Author: John Christopher
Cover Illustrator: Anton Petrov
Publisher: Aladdin, reissued in 2014
Related website: http://www.KIDS.SimonandSchuster.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 9 – 13
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Christopher, John. The Tripods, Book 2: The City of Gold and Lead (published in 1967; republished in 2014 by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division of Simon and Schuster Inc., 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY 10020). In The White Mountains, an English boy named Will Parker lives at an unspecified future time when life on Earth has reverted to a medieval-like society because the world has been ruled for over 100 years by the Tripods. Will, his cousin Henry Parker, and a French boy Jean-Paul Deliet, whom they call Beanpole, escape to the Alps where they join a band of free resistance fighters. In The City of Gold and Lead, Will, Beanpole, and a German boy Fritz Eger, must pretend to be “capped” (brainwashed) and compete in some Olympic type games at a distant town with the hope of being chosen as servants of the Tripods in their capital, the City of Gold and Lead. However, the boys’ real goal is to gain information that will enable the resistance to defeat the tripods and free mankind.
Unfortunately, only Will and Fritz are chosen. What will happen to Beanpole? Can Will and Fritz learn the secrets of the Tripods and how to take them down? Or will their enemies figure out that the boys are spies before they can escape and bring back the information to their friends? This is the second book of the classic alien science-fiction trilogy. It is a little darker and more grim than the first. However, aside from a few minor references to drinking wine and beer and to smoking, there is no major objectionable material, and no bad language occurs. One instance of killing is found, but remember that this is a war between good and evil for the survival of mankind, and it is done more in self-defense than in premeditated murder. Young people and adults who like science fiction should enjoy the story. I did. And the narrative continues in The Pool of Fire.