Administrative Assistant Alison Reeger Cook

This is Some Cook Book: Gainesville Author’s Second ‘Scholar & Sphinx’ Fantasy Novel Debuts Dec. 16

Dec. 12, 2014
Brenau Staff

Technically, it is a “Cook book,” but with title ingredients like a scholar, a sphinx and a fang of Fenrir, it sounds more like recipes for mayhem than for Sunday brunch.

The Scholar, the Sphinx and the Fang of Fenrir is the second novel by author Alison Reeger Cook, who publishes under the moniker A.R. Cook. Published by Mithras Books, the young adult imprint of Knox Robinson Publishing, the novel debuts Tuesday, Dec. 16, and will be available at The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, and online through the booksellers’ websites as well as through Amazon.com and the Mithras Books website www.mithrasbooks.com.

"Fang of Fenrir" by A. R. Cook book coverThe plot of the series follows David Sandoval, a young, bright teenage Spaniard living in Cervera, Spain, in the 1850s. On his journey to Paris to begin an apprenticeship, he crosses paths with a living Grecian sphinx who, unbeknownst to him, needs his help. The sphinx takes David through the Curtain, the misty veil that separates the human world from the realm of myth and legend, and here he meets a wide assortment of characters – some who become allies, and some who become foes.

“The storytelling is imaginative, vivid in description, complimented with sparkling prose and shining vocabulary that a teacher would love,” says reviewer and reading teacher Shelly Carpenter from Toasted Cheese Literary Journal. “A.R. Cook’s treatment of language is reminiscent of E.B. White.”

Cook said the first novel has picked up some traction in school libraries in the area, and she has made personal appearances in both Gwinnett and Hall County schools.

“Many of the episodes in ‘The Scholar and the Sphinx’ series can inspire classroom discussions, comparing how historical events in the 1800s may have repeated themselves in the present,” Cook said. “I hope this series can be a springboard for readers and students to want to learn more about the time period and different mythologies of various cultures, in the way the Percy Jackson series and the Thor movies have revived an interest in Greek and Norse mythology.”

The educational value to be found in the series not only includes various world mythologies (the first book focused on Greek, Japanese and Native American folklore, the second features Norse, African and Russian) but moments of history as well. “Fang of Fenrir” notes historic moments and factual places as well as its fantasy backdrops, including a flashback to Egypt, circa 300 B.C. and a scene during the Crimean War of 1854.

After moving from her hometown of Riverside, Illinois, to Gainesville, Georgia, in 2007, Cook concentrated on fantasy novel and short story writing in her spare time. Her debut book, The Scholar, the Sphinx, and the Shades of Nyx received positive reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble plus highly praised critiques in online literary journals and book review blogs. It appeals to readers that enjoy Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, The Blackwell Pages by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr, and The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott.

In her day job, Cook is administrative assistant of Brenau University’s Office of Communications & Publications, which will host a launch party honoring her on Thursday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Walters House, 305 Boulevard SE in Gainesville. Refreshments will be served at this teen-friendly event, and copies of both her books will be available for purchase and author signing. Register your planned attendance by e-mail toinfo@brenau.edu or by calling 770-534-6160.

Other planned author events for Cook in early 2015 include the Dahlonega Literary Festival in March, JordanCon April 17-19 and TimeGate Con May 22-24 in Atlanta. You may learn about future appearances at Cook’s author website, scholarandsphinx.blogspot.com, or request to sign up for her author newsletter at scholarandsphinx@gmail.com.

General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100