By the end of the book the fact that it is the first of a new sequence becomes a cause for much rejoicing. This first volume feels in many ways almost like a prelude to a story, but those ways are all good ones. There is so much unexplored and unresolved. There are so many intriguing things yet to discover about characters to whom we have become fully committed and about their conflict with the malevolent Riven. There are other characters too about whom we as yet know so little. It is to be sincerely hoped that we are to discover stories and even back-stories to complement fascinating glimpses of the likes of Gabriel, Neptune and the flute-playing Ingrid, not to mention Beck and of course, astoundingly, Horace's . . . but no spoilers. Suffice it to say that what appears initially to be the story's wind-down coda turns out to contain one of the most profound and devastating surprises of the whole tale.
The Keepers has all the makings of a great addition to the canon of children's fantasy literature. Even as a stand-alone The Box and the Dragonfly is a cracker of a book.