Amulet Book Two Story Structure
A superhero must climb a high, rocky, perilous mountain to save the world. All the while, everyone tries to steer them off course, trip them and watch them fall. It takes a person fully committed to getting the tar beat out of them physically, emotionally and spiritually again and again to be a superhero.
In Amulet Book Two: The Stonekeeper’s Curse, Emily Hayes must fully accept her new role as a gifted punching bag and commit to not only being a superhero, but also what kind of superhero she wants to be. How will she choose to use the power she is gaining? Her choices will have great impact and affect the lives of many.
She will be tempted to take the “easy” road but to be a true superhero she must overcome temptation and choose the higher, rocky, perilous road over and over. What a curse!
Spoiler Warning! Below is the plot structure of Amulet Book Two: The Stonekeeper’s Curse using Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet as the basis for the breakdown (see my review of Blake Snyder’s book Save the Cat, an excellent storytelling resource). For an explanation of each “beat” please refer to Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet.
Premise: Amulet is a superhero tale about Emily Hayes, a young girl who must learn to use the power of a magical amulet to save her family from a world of fantasy and danger (since this is one long story broken up into five installments, the premise is the same for each book).
Opening Image: Prince Trellis, the evil elf from Amulet Book One is escorted to the throne of his father, the Elf King. The Elf King offers Trellis one last chance to capture Emily and pairs him with the Elf King’s right-hand “man”, Luger. Trellis’ secret intent to overthrow his father and take the throne is in jeopardy. How long will it be until his secret is revealed?
Set-up: Picking up where Amulet Book One left off, we are re-introduced to the characters and their current situation: Emily and Navin’s mother has been poisoned and with the help of a friendly, loyal team of robots they are traveling to the city of Kanalis for an antidote by way of a giant humanoid robot that is also their house. Navin learns to pilot the house while Emily stays by their mother’s bedside (a stone hangs around her neck: the Amulet). By her body language, Emily feels responsible for her mother’s fate.
Theme Stated: The Amulet comes to life and tells Emily that her choice to spare Trellis’ life in Amulet Book One will result in a battle against the elves. She must prepare herself. (This story will be about dealing with the consequences of your choices. Responsibility.)
Catalyst: They arrive in Kanalis. Luger, Trellis and a band of elves are nearby, ready to execute their plan and capture the children.
Debate: Will Kanalis have an antidote? Unaware of the elves lurking around them, Emily and her team travel through the city of anthropomorphic animals, looking for a doctor. At the hospital they learn of the antidote: the fruit from a Gadoba tree. The only remaining fruit-bearing Gadoba trees are on top of Demon’s Head Mountain. They must go there to save Mom. At that moment, the elves attack, blasting the hospital with a canon.
Choosing Act Two: A Fox named Leon – who has been warding elves off their tail since their arrival – leads the team and the hospital patients into the underway railway system. There, Leon pulls Emily aside. Emily, the Stonekeeper, is the one that needs to go the mountaintop; the others can look after her mother. She agrees and separates from the group (though Miskit joins her), her first step to accepting her role.
B Story: Emily and Leon begin a mentor/apprentice relationship while fighting the elves. Emily has difficulty controlling the overwhelming power of the Amulet. Leon tells her it is her curse due to the path she chose (in Amulet Book One) and it is up to her to turn that curse into a blessing (Responsibility). But he will help by doing what he has been destined to do his entire life: train her.
Fun n’ Games (Promise of the Premise): Safe from the elf attack, Navin and the group meet a clan of rebels called The Resistance. A member of the clan is a Gadoba tree who cannot produce fruit but can foretell the future. He says Navin will be a commander of the Resistance but in the near future Emily will fall, potentially to her death. Navin bands the group and the new clan together to regain control of the house and go after Emily. While all this is happening, Emily trains with Leon. To continue on the path to the Gadoba trees, Emily must use the power of the Amulet to lift and move a giant blockade of explosives. With Leon’s help she quickly improves, until…
Midpoint: Emily lets the Amulet have too much control. Through her, it moves the large blockade with ease and tempts her by saying that everything would be so much easier if she just let it be in control; she should leave Leon and Miskit behind, she and the Amulet can do it all alone. Emily chooses to stay with her team and quiets the Amulet, for now.
Bad Guys Close In: As Navin and the Resistance regain possession of the house, and as Luger separates from Trellis (who had been showing signs of compassion) to go after Emily alone, intent on killing her, Leon informs Emily that if she gave control to the Amulet she would become like the Elf King: evil and capable of transforming into a monster. Emily is determined to maintain control and shows positive signs of it while using the Amulet’s power to choose the rare Gadoba fruit that brings life as opposed to death. Choosing wisely, she now has the antidote for her mom.
All is Lost (& Whiff of Death): But elves are on their tail. As they escape, Emily almost falls off a cliff, watches from afar as elves burn the last of the fruit-bearing Gadoba trees and sees a tree that is strangely similar to the tree in the prologue of Amulet Book One (when her dad dies). The Whiff of Death is all around! The Amulet blames her for the death of the Gadoba trees and unless she gives in, Leon and Miskit and all her friends will surely share the same fate.
Dark Night of the Soul: The elves catch up and overpower Emily and her team. The Amulet tries to take control while Emily is weak and Luger prepares to kill her on the spot.
Choosing Act Three: Luger readies his death strike but Trellis stops him. He has chosen a side, Emily’s. Luger gives in to his amulet and turns into a towering giant monster. He knocks Trellis aside and sends Emily over a cliff (just as it was foretold). Luckily, the house is there to catch her. Navin combats the Luger-Monster but Emily is the only one who can defeat it. Gathering all her strength, Emily denies the Amulet and chooses to not lose control. But how can she possibly outmatch her enemies? By not fighting alone.
Finale: With Leon’s training and the help of her team, she uses the Amulet’s power to give extra energy to the house and battles Luger-Monster, eventually knocking him over a cliff to his death. Exhausted, Emily falls unconscious, then wakes to find her mom alive and well. They hug and Mom suggests they go home, but Emily won’t. She has a responsibility to carry out. Mom decides to stay, too; they are family and they’ll stick together, no matter what.
Final Image: Once again, the story ends on a cliffhanger as Trellis (the focus of both the Opening and Final Image) follows the robot house, staying close. What is he up to? We’ll have to find out in Amulet Book Three.
TO BE CONTINUED…