Czar of Alaska: The Cross of Charlemagne Dr. Jack MacGregor, zoologist, once again takes his wife Dr. Mavis MacGregor, a famous paleontologist, sons Chris 18, and Ryan 12, and daughter Heather 14, on a great adventure battling the evil forces of the world who would endanger lives and destroy the environment. Having survived hurricanes in the Caribbean, ivory poachers in East Africa, and a Cairo crime syndicate racing up the Nile toward Luxor, the MacGregors head to the wilderness state of Alaska and encounter an unusual new threat from eco-terrorists, common anarchists, a rogue Vatican priest, and a corrupt Polish archaeologist. But with the aid of a retired librarian, three aging Greek Orthodox priests, and a seasoned F.B.I. agent, the MacGregors work desperately to save Alaska and possibly even the United States of America.
“A wonderful book” Clive Cussler, Best Selling Author of 22 Novels
From the School Library Journal
TROUT, Richard E.
Czar of Alaska: The Cross of Charlemagne. 248p.
MacGregor Family Adventure Series). CIP. Pelican. 2005. Tr $15.95.
ISBN 1-58980-328-0. LC 2005002838.
Gr 5-8-In this fourth book in the series, the globe trotting MacGregors are in Alaska where they face the challenges of the wilderness. Dr. Jack, a zoologist; his paleontologist wife; and their three teenagers travel up North to a meeting with oil companies and environmentalists to determine the impact of drilling for fuel in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. At the same time, eco-terrorists are plotting against them while treasure hunters and Russian Orthodox priests are searching for the invaluable Cross of Charlemagne. The paths of these characters cross and the story lines merge into an exciting conclusion. The MacGregors’ many escapades include an exciting dog-sled excursion, a bear attack, and a daring boat rescue. The novel features a strong family unit with realistic sibling rivalry and respect for parents. It can be enjoyed without having read the previous adventures but references made will encourage readers to seek out the other books. – Denise Moore, O’Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD
True North, Gottawritenetwork
Reviewing Books on the North and Wilderness
Author Richard Trout, also an environmental biologist, consultant and college professor, is back in full gale force with his fourth novel in the MacGregor Family Adventure Series. High adventure in the Alaskan wilderness takes us bounding through an obstacle course of environmental, political and historical intrigue with the exuberance of huskies.
We join in the adventures with Trout’s invitation into an icy wilderness, 788 A.D. In the Alps, we meet Charlemagne, his scout, the Duke of Bavaria and an old priest. What is the Cross of Charlemagne and why are his scout and the old priest so willing to protect it with their lives? The Prologue ends in a blizzard of snow and ice, obscuring events that will take another 1,000 years to reveal.
Enter the MacGregor kids: Chris, Ryan and Heather. The year is 1999 and they’ve hitting the ground running, or rather dog sledding, as the novel opens. Fighting off angry grizzlies, discovering an unusual, vacant cabin, crashing into a whaler, the kids set the
pace of the novel. Who are the three Russian Orthodox priests that Ryan befriends and what are they doing in the Alaskan wilderness? An elegant, elderly lady might have some interesting information for them, if they can find her alive.
Meanwhile, Drs. Jack and Mavis MacGregor have their own grizzlies to tackle in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge: a highly skilled, highly paid group of eco-terrorists. Sprinkle a few special agents around and add a cold-hearted killer with a personal political agenda into the mix and the dangers of working in Alaska are realized in full. Will the MacGregors and the FBI stop the eco-terrorists in time?
This novel is rich with facts, which Trout expertly weaves in with fiction. An Alutiq tribe member befriends the MacGregor family, offering cultural history. We meet characters throughout the Alaskan escapades that teach us about the environmental and political challenges threatening the wilderness. We learn historical history from the three Russian Orthodox priests. Trout offers an Alaskan tapestry of tales.
Written for young adults, adults too will enjoy this romp through the frozen wilderness. After all, I’ve got the first four books on my shelf and look forward to more.
True North October 16, 2005
5 out of 5 dogsleds – Reviewed by True North
Yukon Review, July 27, 2005
I have been a fan of Richard Trout’s books since they first came out. His newest book Czar of Alaska: The Cross of Charlemagne does not disappoint. This book is an excellent read, especially for those students who want to take a break from summer reading assignments. Czar of Alaska is politically relevant but does not bore the reader. It shows the downside of the environmental movement but it also gives the reader a real reason to think of environmental issues. The plot in this book is fast paced from the opening medieval battle to the final air battle. The plot is not one you would expect to read with a setting like Alaska. There are grizzlies and blizzards but Trout does not confine the action to just these. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes anything to do with adventure books. Czar of Alaska educates while it entertains. Trout is very good at slipping in little known facts about the area that the MacGregor family is visiting. If you enjoy this book, I would also recommend that you read Richard Trout’s three other books.
Chris Vann, Student, Journalism Dept., University of Oklahoma