Once again the writers working on the Infinity Ring series have placed the characters in a pivotal moment in history and allowed them to interact with famous historical figures. In this fifth installment, the kids (Sera, Dak, and Riq) arrive in Baghdad just in time for the grandson of Genghis Khan to attack the city with the Mongol hordes. While Europe is still in the Dark Ages, Baghdad is home to many libraries and scholars. The Hystorians believe that copies of Aristotle's key works are stored in the House of Wisdom. They must be preserved in order to correct the rest of the Time Breaks that will cause the Cataclysm if left as they are. Riq is still dealing with the fear that his actions in their encounter with the Underground Railroad have altered the future and may have even caused him not to exist in the future. Sera glimpsed the Cataclysm itself during that same mission and is now even more convinced to prevent it. And Dak senses that the other two have secrets, but they won't talk about them. All of that puts a strain on the team - as if they need any more pressure while they are trapped in a city about to be pillaged by Mongols.
There are still lighthearted moments. Dak gets to enjoy some very good cheese (his favorite food). Riq catches himself using Sera's phrase, "Oh, for the love of mincemeat!" and that gives everyone a laugh. Although they don't see Dak's parents, they know they have been in the city and that is reassuring to Dak and Sera. Of course, as soon as events play out, they immediately use the ring to travel to the next break - this one deals with Lewis and Clark's expedition. Westward ho!
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley, then added this book to the library from our fall book fair. Don't forget that Scholastic has an online game to go along with the books. Check out the trailer for an explanation of the mission. Fix the past. Save the future. You can also see the author talking about his books during the National Book Festival.