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Cave of Wonders

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Cave of Wonders, written by Matthew J. Kirby, is the fifth book in the Infinity Ring series. The book begins with a quote by Umara ibn Aqil, a ninth-century poet: “Have you seen in all the length and breadth of the earth/ A city such as Baghdad?”. The book takes place in Baghdad in the 1200s, when Mongol forces besieged the city and eventually sacked it, led by Hulagu Khan. The book is preceded by Curse of the Ancients, and followed by Behind Enemy Lines. This book takes place in WWII Europe. The cover of Cave of Wonders features a golden lamp on a blue background. Episode 5 “The Lost Expedition” is the game that accompanies this book.[1] This is the plot summary on the back of the book: "Europe is in the grip of the Dark ages, but there is a light in the dark: Baghdad. The great city has become a center of learning, populated by scholars, merchants, and explorers from all across the known world. But danger lurks in the desert... and Dak, Sera, and Riq must act fast to save the world's greatest library from utter destruction."

Chapter 1- Chapter 11 (Pages 1-102)[edit]

The book starts with Dak, Riq, and Sera, who have just completed their twelfth warp together. They have just completed their mission at the Great Wall in Ming-dynasty China. They find out that they are at Baghdad on January 27, 1258. Suddenly, they see a caravan of camels and riders heading towards the city. Dak explains how the city is on the Silk Road, a trade route. When the group comes to the Khurasan Gate, the entrance to the city, they see that guards are collecting tolls. The trio tries to hide within the crowd to avoid paying a toll. They lie to the guards that they are traveling with their parents, who are silk traders and who are expecting them. The group solves a riddle on their SQuare, and views a pre-recorded video that explains that they have to save the writings of Aristotle from the House of Wisdom, a library in the city. The writing are important in solving the Prime Break, the one that Aristotle discovered and eventually led to the establishment of the Hystorians. Without the writings, the Prime Break cannot be fixed, and new breaks will happen, leading to the Cataclysm, or the apocalypse. The group has fixed eight Breaks so far, but this scares Riq. In 1850, he messed up his family tree, which meant that he could cease to exist in the present. The group tries to find the local Hystorian and get new clothes to blend in, but overhears that the Mongols, lead to Hulagu, are only a few days from the city. However, Dak, attempting to earn some money to purchase new clothes, tells a story about a time-traveling djinn to the citizens of the city. The Market Inspector attempts to seize their money, but they escape due to a rug merchant called Farid. Finally, they find the House of Wisdom, which overlooks the Tigris River. They find the Hystorian, named Abi, and discusses the Break. The Mongols will sack Baghdad in two days, essentially turning it into a ghost town for hundreds of years. They also talk about Tusi, a scholar who Hulagu captured and took as his advisor.[2] The next day, the four head to the caliph to convince him to surrender, or at least let them talk to Tusi about the House of Wisdom. However, when they talk to him, he refuses to save the House and raises suspicions that he is SQ. Dak, Riq, and Sera head to the Mongol war camp instead to try to talk to Hulagu. However, Riq and Dak are captured, and Sera still cannot convince Tusi to save the writings. Riq and Dak are taken to General Guo Kan, the Divine Man, who is SQ. The grand vizier and Market Inspector are also SQ. When Kan leaves, Riq and Dak escape, and reunites with Sera. They use a boat to travel up the Tigris River and into Baghdad. However, they are promptly arrested, and Abi was also arrested.[3]

Chapters 12- Epilogue (Pages 103- 187).[edit]

The group escapes from prison by using one of Dak's ideas. Riq and Abi go to get the Infinity Ring back from the grand vizier, while Dak and Sera try to prevent Baghdad's libraries from falling. The animals in the caliph's menagerie have fled, and Riq and Abi struggle to escape a black bear. Riq dislocates his shoulder in the escape, and almost black out from the pain. However, Abi helps him. Next, they see an enormous tiger, and set a trap for the vizier. This results in the vizier hanging on to a tapestry with a tiger below him. After the vizier hands over the Ring, and the pair saves him, he tries to steal it again. However, this time he is eaten alive by the tiger when he falls. Meanwhile, Sera tells Dak about seeing the Cataclysm. After they meet Farid, who had been visited by Dak's parents, the group rests up and waits for the siege of Baghdad to end. They sneak into Hulagu's palace, which is being prepared on the eastern side of the city. They convince Tusi to help them, Tusi convinces Hulagu that an observatory must be built, with a library full of Baghdad's books. However, when Guo Kan opposes this, he is promptly detained. Back at the House of Wisdom, Riq tells Abi how he messed up his own timeline and may not exist in the present day. However, Abi says that Riq is real to him, and praises how noble he is. When Dak, Sera, and Tusi meet up with them, the Market Inspector and his guards begin to torch the House of Wisdom. However, they manage to save at least the writings of Aristotle. After saying good-bye, Riq, Sera, and Dak warp to their next mission. They find out that they are at St. Louis, on the banks of the Mississippi River, in the summer of 1804. However, the SQ has tampered and killed everyone on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which let from Camp Wood (near the city), and prevented settlement of the Louisiana Purchase. However, they discover that the SQ has control over St. Louis.[4]

References[edit]

  1. "Cave of Wonders (Infinity Ring, #5)". Goodreads. Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  2. Kirby, Matthew J. (2013-08-27). Infinity Ring Book 5: Cave of Wonders. Scholastic Inc. ISBN 9780545387002. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  3. "Cave of Wonders by Matthew J. Kirby | Scholastic.com". Scholastic Teachers. Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  4. "Infinity Ring Book 5: Cave of Wonders". infinityring.scholastic.com. Retrieved 2016-04-02.


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