Book Review

Moon Reads: Arthur and the Golden Rope

Arthur and the Golden Rope by Joe Todd-Stanton

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Read before: No

Ownership: Wishlist gift from Jenn who is a sweetheart.

Spoiler free review: No

Series: Brownstone’s Mythical Colletion, Book 1

I love fun adventure illustrated stories, and this one is one that falls into the “child reads on their own but still wants fun illustrated books rather than more words than pictures” and it is gorgeous. The artwork makes me smile and is full of fun details that add to the story.

But overall the story starts with an introduction about the Brownstones who are adventurers by blood, and yet the very first Brownstone was anything but adventurer material, and that was Arthur. He was a smart curious boy who was most certainly not an adventurer, until his curiosity saved him from mishap and he was the only elegible one for one adventure to save their town and recover the golden flame.

Chaos, shenanigans, and lots of fun ensue as Arthur tries to get some of the Norse gods involved to help him recover the flame and capture the one who took it away. The story is sweet, full of adventure and challenges Arthur by making him use his intellect and problem solving in unusual ways.

Obviously after reading this, I added all the rest of the series to my wishlist because it was a delight to read and I would like to have more adventures with the Brownstones.

Recommended for kids who want adventures or are curious about Norse or other mythology.

Book Review, Books

Fate of the Fallen Review

Fate of the Fallen by Kel Kade

The Shroud of Prophecy tests fate to discover what happens when the path of good and right, the triumph of light over darkness, the only path to salvation… fails.

Everyone loves Mathias. So naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride.

Mathias is thrilled for the adventure! There’s nothing better than a road beneath his feet and adventure in the air. Aaslo, on the other hand, has never cared for the world beyond the borders of his sleepy village and would be much happier alone and in the woods. But, someone has to keep the Chosen One’s head on his shoulders and his feet on the ground.

It turns out saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. Mathias is more than willing to place his life on the line, but Aaslo would love nothing more than to forget about all the talk of arcane bloodlines and magical fae creatures. When the going gets rough, folks start to believe their only chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the stories go. At all. To make matters worse Aaslo is beginning to fear that he may have lost his mind…

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This book was provided by the publisher in the hopes of an honest review (and they know they’ll get me hooked ad I’ll buy the next books). The fact that this is gifted doesn’t really affect my opinion on the book (and I don’t read the book thinking “it is a proof/review copy, you have to love it”).

Mathias and Aaslo are good friends. Best friends. Brothers (not biological). They train together, they study together (but Mathias studies more) but they have very different expectations of life. Aaslo is pragmatic, he is a forester and he’s happy with that, he’s reayd to settle and just likes his life as is. Mathias yearns for adventure in the great wide somewhere, and he likes playing around, not planning on settling.

So when we find out that there have been many prophecies and they all boil down to Mathias being the hero and saving the world from utter ruin, well, it is perfectly fitting and Mathias is ready. But somehow, fate is having a laugh and Mathias dies a little too soon. Aaslo then realises that someone has still to try to save things and he isn’t ready to give up the “simple” life he had planned, so he takes on a bit of being the hero (a lot against his wishes, but he has a good heart).

I enjoyed the world, the quest, and the whole “what if the bext friend, the not the hero but good support, had to step up and be the hero because there is no other choice?”, Sam takes over Frodo’s quest. And I was very skeptical of how this would be accomplished without me being angry for the whole Mathias thing, but Aaslo basically won my heart on the first few pages so I was rooting for him all along.

So much for fate, by the way. Not sure if the intent of the author was to point at how the whole “chosen one” trope could be undone by something relatively simple as it does here to Mathias and what would happen when it does. It is a good question, and one Aaslo is trying to figure out. He wasn’t trained, he just was ready for a life in the forest. But he still moves forward, gains a rag tag team of quest members and sets off.

There are a few characters that amde this very interesting (but I’d rather not spoil, a certain female character was my favourite of them) and there are parts of the “Gods” discussing things and negotiating and it is interesting to have this overall view and still be unsure what the final outcome may be.

Looking forward to the next one, because I need to know what is going to happen now after that revelation of Aaslo’s ability.

Book Review, Books

Everdark Review

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Everdark by Abi Elphinstone

It is midnight in Crackledawn – a midnight full of magic. Sea dragons stir in the depths of the ocean, silver whales surface beneath the moon and sand goblins line the shores. Everyone is waiting for the phoenix, the guardian of the kingdom’s magic, to rise up from the forests of Everdark.

But there is no sign of the phoenix tonight. Something else surges up out of Everdark instead: a harpy bent on stealing Crackledawn’s magic.

It is up to an eleven-year-old girl called Smudge and an eccentric monkey called Bartholomew to set sail beyond the legendary Northswirl and stop the harpy before it’s too late.

So, grab your compass and roll down your sail – the first adventure in THE UNMAPPED CHRONICLES is about to begin…

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I enjoyed this little book so much and it made me want to read Rumblestar even more (I already wanted to).

We meet Smudge, who isn’t the very best at, well, anything. She struggles to be a good student, and isn’t sure she fits the potential careers she can have. We also meet her monkey companion, Bartholomew, and well, poor Smudge has no choice but to save the world because she is the only one that wasn’t cursed.

So she sets off to try to sort this out, with just her courage, and her unusual view of the world and ideas.

I enjoyed reading it very much. It is a good reminder of why I still love to read Middle Grade books even if I have no children myself and I am most definitely not a child myself.

The quest keeps moving forward, and the book does a good job at pointing out that being different and not fitting the status quo isn’t always bad, but rather, gives you an opportunity to be something else. Here it is an adventurer, but in our world we would potentially consider them to be the creatives, the innovators.

There’s a lot of magic, a lot of happy accidents that somehow help them out and a lot of courage from Smudge.