The Discoveries of Arthur Grey
|Genre||Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery|
|Publisher||Panama Hat Publishing|
|Published||June 2012 - present|
The Discoveries of Arthur Grey is a middle-grade and young adult book series written by V. K. Finnish. The novels follow the adventures of young hero Arthur Grey and his Siberian husky, Griffin, along with an eclectic group of friends who attend the secret Historia Society at its various locations around the world. The series debuted in 2012 with the title The Society's Traitor. Currently, there are three books in the series, with a fourth on its way.
Each novel encompasses one year of Arthur Grey’s life, beginning in December and ending in December of the following year. The books take place during present-day times in various cities (both real and fantastic) around the world. The story shadows the main character, Arthur Grey, in his adventures at each location, where he solves mysteries—some thousands of years old—with the help of his friends.
The Society’s Traitor
The Society’s Traitor, the first book in the series, was published in 2012.
The story begins in a large manor in Maizegrove (a fictional small town of Wisconsin) where eleven-year-old Arthur Grey, something of a misfit, spends his time with his friend Penelope, acting out adventure stories and frequently getting himself in trouble with his grandmother. The manor is rumored to be the resting place of a hidden treasure that no one has ever been able to locate. Arthur happens upon a clue to this treasure and becomes determined to find its location. His plans get put on hold, however, when he ends up running into his long-absent dad and gets transported to the jungles of Peru. There, Arthur agrees to become an Initiate at the Historia Society, the secret organization his father works for. The Society’s base in Peru is called the Department of Conservation, and Arthur and his fellow Initiates get to explore several locations throughout the country, including the city of Cuzco, and learn about some of the mythological creatures kept in Conservation. Arthur's first mystery at the Historia Society revolves around an endangered dragon-bird creature and the search for a lost city of gold.
The Minotaur Riddle
The Minotaur Riddle, the second book in the series, was published in 2013.
After turning twelve, Arthur Grey arrives back at the Historia Society, this time to a hidden island somewhere off the coast of mainland Greece, where the Department of Origins is located. The focus there involves the study of ancient scripts and artifacts, with the action centering on Historia's exciting new Olympic games. Arthur finds himself trying to get to the bottom of a new mystery when rumors of an actual Minotaur surface during a visit to the island of Crete and a greedy investor shows up pretending to have help for Historia's financial problems. With assistance from their friends, Arthur and Griffin set out to help save Historia and discover a new legendary site.
The Eye of Amun
The Eye of Amun, the third book in the series, was published in 2015.
The story takes place at the Department of Investigations, which is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt. Arthur, now thirteen, sets his sights on the long-lost ancient Book of Thoth, hoping that luck from a new-found lucky charm can help him be the one to find the relic. Between Initiate lessons and his wayward adventures, Arthur gets the opportunity to learn more about his Guardian powers with help from his tutor, Gamble, and has frustrating run-ins with Mr. Berne, the untrustworthy investor who has wormed his way into staying around the Society. A new experience for Arthur in this plot is the awkward crush he has on his friend Idolette. As the year progresses, he and Griffin put clues together to figure out who has been sabotaging the Egyptian sites and whether or not the Book of Thoth truly exists.
Beginning with The Society's Traitor, each novel in The Discoveries of Arthur Grey series opens with a prologue that seems to be a peek into a dream that Arthur Grey has recently had. While Arthur's story takes place in a modern-day setting, the prologues are set in a more ancient time. The prologues are told in present-first-person narration by the character Amr and tie in with the main plot, usually through an object or spoken phrase that turns up in the main story, jolting Arthur's memory.
Each prologue encompasses a scene from the life of Amr, son of the Lady Anna of Tarn. The Society’s Traitor begins with Amr's birthday, during which a tale is told about the pulling of a mighty sword from a tree. The tale is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of strangers from the far-away land of Ierne. By sneaking into the council room, Amr learns that the foreigners have come to plead to the Lady Anna for help in stopping a certain high king from stealing relics. Anna refuses to participate in a battle, but resolves to send a small party to find out if the rumors are true. Amr, without consulting his mother, offers to be a part of that group.
In The Minotaur Riddle's prologue, Amr and his band, along with the group from Ierne, have been traveling for months and are attacked by a group of Seekers. Amr confides that his mission is to retrieve the sword of his fathers from King Artir, even if it means he has to remain in that foreign land to get it.
The prologue of The Eye of Amun involves a slightly sentimental parting scene between Amr and his love interest and then follows the group from Tarn after they split from the Ierne party. Amr goes to see King Artir, who was rumored to be responsible for the relic thievery, and discovers that their attacker (from the previous book) works for the king.
The main character of the series is Arthur Grey. He is described as having sloppy brown hair and curious hazel eyes and is known for wearing an "adventure belt" with various pouches on it. He spent his early life with his grandmother, living in a historic manor in Wisconsin where he finds a mysterious locket, an object which he thereafter carries with him throughout the series. Whenever Arthur injures himself, his left eye throbs and a healing process takes place, curing his injury. By the end of the first book, Arthur learns that he is a Guardian and has the power to guard objects by making them invisible to others. With several of his Historia Society friends, he forms a group self-titled the Spyglass Squad and earns the title “The Explorer.”
Griffin is described as a Siberian husky. His most notable feature is his dual-colored eyes, one being hazel and the other blue. Arthur is the only human who understands Griffin’s speech. As an honorary member of the Spyglass Squad, Griffin receives the title of “Scout.”
Penelope grew up in Wisconsin where she and Arthur attended the same grade in elementary school and were best friends until he left. She wears glasses and is often said to keep her brown hair in two braids. In The Society's Traitor, Penelope's character frequently poses as the voice of caution for Arthur. Instead of following Arthur to the Historia Society, she remains in Wisconsin and, while her name is mentioned in later books, she does not reappear as an active character.
Pernille’s cheerful character is introduced once Arthur has arrived at the Historia Society. She is described as being Irish and having fiery orange hair, blue eyes, and usually found wearing pink goggles in her hair. Her knack for repairing and inventing mechanical objects earns her the title of “The Mechanic” in the Spyglass Squad. In The Society’s Traitor, she is in her second Initiate year at the Historia Society.
Esmond is described as hailing from England and having a mousy face, sandy hair, and glasses. He is known both for his gloomy outlook on situations and, with an "it’s what you know” attitude, his habit of constant reading (he can often be found in a library); so it comes as no surprise that his title in the Spyglass Squad is “The Bookworm.” His character's role is as the voice of reality. Along with Arthur, he starts the first book of the series as a first-year Initiate in the Historia Society.
A dramatic and sometimes rebellious character, Idolette is described as pretty and explains that her grandparents are Japanese. Her father, an Englishman, is the grandson of Homer Siegfried, who was responsible for starting the Historia Society. This makes Idolette Homer’s great granddaughter. She takes on different appearances throughout the books, showing up alternately with long or short hair in any number of colors (including blonde, pink, blue, and black), varied eye colors, and numerous outfits, many ethnic in nature. Due to her talent at adopting multiple personas, she earns the title “The Actress” in the Spyglass Squad. In The Society’s Traitor, she is beginning her third Initiate year at the Historia Society.
A mysterious character, Gamble is described as a gnarled old man with a warped face that resembles a potato and a mouth that creaks open when he speaks in his gravely voice. He wears spectacles, walks with a limp, and is known for the tall woody staff he carries, which is topped with a glass globe encasing a blue and silver fire. He is often accompanied by his white gyrfalcon.
The Historia Society
In The Discoveries books, the Historia Society ("Historia" or "the Society," for short) was begun by Homer Siegfried, an archaeologist who wanted to ensure that the world's wealth of history would be well protected. He created the Society “so people could search for the truth without having any strings attached—without the rules, lies, and pressure of money-hungry and power-craving funders.” By the first book of the series, Homer has been dead for nearly ten years, but the Society thrives under the leadership of his daughter-in-law Agnes Siegfried.
Information about the Historia Society is parceled out through the books. The Society is divided into five departments, each having a specific concentration of study. The departments are:
- Conservation- Located in the Peruvian Andes and responsible for the collection of mythological creatures
- Experiments - Located on Elysium Island and in charge of reconstructing fantastic devices and medicines
- Investigations - Located in Egypt and concentrated on investigating rumors of myths and legends
- Origins - Located on Elysium Island and responsible for the Society's vast accumulation of knowledge
- Special Occurrences - Location not yet divulged; purpose has to do with stars and planetary movements (according to the character Prometheus in The Minotaur Riddle).
While there are several fictional settings used throughout the books (ex, Maizegrove and Elysium Island), many of the settings take place in real, modern-day cities such as Athens, Cairo, and Cuzco, or in currently-known archaeological sites like Knossos.
- "Review of The Society's Traitor". Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- "Happy Holidays! Sneak Peek from Arthur Grey Book 4". V.K. Finnish. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- "Review of The Society's Traitor". Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- Finnish, V.K. (2012). The Society's Traitor. Panama Hat Publishing. ISBN 978-1-943317-00-4.
- "Review of The Minotaur Riddle". Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- Finnish, V.K. (2013). The Minotaur Riddle. Panama Hat Publishing. ISBN 978-1-943317-03-5.
- "The Minotaur Riddle (Discoveries of Arthur Grey Book 2) Paperback". V.K. Finnish. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- Finnish, V.K. (2015). The Eye of Amun. Panama Hat Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9852202-6-6.
- "The Eye of Amun (The Discoveries of Arthur Grey, #3)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- "Children's Book Review: The Society's Traitor by V.K. Finnish, illus. by Tim Oshida. Panama Hat, $22.99 (298p) ISBN 978-0-9852202-0-4". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- Finnish, V.K. (2013). The Minotaur Riddle. Panama Hat Publishing. p. 251.
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