Posts Tagged ‘Quests’

Roderick and the Wizard of Endor by F.M. McQueen.

May 16, 2019 Comments off

wizard endorRoderick and the Wizard of Endor by F.M. McQueen. Pub. Tross Publishing, 2019.

Jolly little tale or quest this, with good values, lively characters and a plot that includes action, magic and drama.

It does have a green, conservation, climate change agenda too but that enhances it’s appeal. Concisely written with a lot of old world philosophy and structured in short sharp chapters that will keep the reader involved.

Roderick is a large marmot like creature and his friend Pepin is a squirrel like creature. They meet an invisible human named Percy who has become invisible because he took some leprechauns gold from the crock at the end of the rainbow. Don’t do this.

The result is Percy is invisible and Roderick and Pepin touch the gold and become invisible too. The upside is that they can now see the fairy world that is invisible to the human world. How can they become visible again? The answer is the Wizard of Endor.

The three  now go on a quest to find the Wizard who lives in a castle high up in the Mountains of Endor. This journey provides action and drama and we visit places like the Poisoned Forest, Findels gap, the Land of Blue Ice and meet elves  and a huge snake called Hestrum.

A map and a picture at the start show the route and the characters. Good fantasy, but will they find the Wizard and lose their invisibilty?  A sequel is set up.

A good read-a-loud for juniors and fantasy for primary and intermediate readers.

The Quest Series Pt1. How to set the World on Fire by T.K. Riggins.

October 2, 2018 Comments off

world on fireThe Quest Series Pt1. How to set the World on Fire by T.K. Riggins. Pub. Franchise Publishing Vancouver, 2017.

After reading literally hundreds of fantasy novels it is refreshing to read a really good one. For fantasy to be successful with me it must have  a number of things -firstly mythical dragon like creature or a unicorn. This novel has both. A half lion half dragon beast called a langara which is the guardian of the Forest of Morais and two unicorns one white one black.

Secondly it must have magic. There must be magicians who can do wonderous things, and thirdly there has to be bad things and bad people that need to be overcome to return a troubled land or society to peace and harmony.

This novel has them all, and there is the sage mirror. Find out what it is.

Kase wants to be a warrior and him and his elder sister Cali, who is a scholar, go to a school called the Academy. The Academy caters for warriors, scholars and wizards but never the twain shall meet until now.

Every year the Academy has the Quest for older students before they leave school and teams of all scholars, all warriors, all wizards are the norm. This year is different. Kase Cali, Lena and Talen are not in their final year, not all from one class and they form a team called Liberati to contest the Q. Their first task is to bring hot lava back in it’s natural condition without it solidifying. Tough stuff.

How will they do against older teams? What about school bad boy Niveous? What about the unicorns and the langara? I am not going to tell you any more, you will have to read it yourself. And it is very good.

Great introduction to fantasy for kids from 8-15 years. Good values too. Friendship, families, teamwork, leadership and selflessness are themes. Lots of science and problem solving.

The second book in the series Money Jane is already out.

Brotherhood of Thieves: The Wardens by Stuart Daly

April 23, 2014 Comments off

brotherhood thievesBrotherhood of Thieves: The Wardens by Stuart Daly. Pub. Random House, 2014.

I always enjoy a fantasy where there is a map at the beginning showing the lands in which the story is told and the various towns and geographical landscapes that make up the place of action. To cut a long story short this book has the map.

It is a simple story. Five teenagers of various backgrounds skills and physique are selected to join a secret Brotherhood whose mission is to protect the land in which they live by using the magic of the past to defeat a formidable enemy. The teenagers are to be selective grave robbers and their enemy is a bunch of giants from across The Scar.

In this first part a street thief Caspan and four candidates from select cadet acadamies are brought to the Brotherhood for training. They have to weld into a team in order to be successful. This is the coming together and first challenge for the team. There are rivalries within the group and lessons to be learned.

Each of the five can choose a magical animal as a sidekick much like the daemon in His Dark Materials series . Creatures such as Griffens or a pegasus. Caspan has a dragon like creature.

I can tell you no more except that it is very interesting reading. I particularly liked the ancient Dray culture that lived in the land before humans came.

Having said that the story is remarkably similar to a series I reviewed on this blog called Spirit Animals. See if you agree.

For intermediate and junior secondary school students.



The Magnificent 12 Book 2: The Trap by Michael Grant

November 19, 2011 Comments off

The Magnificent 12 Book 2 The Trap by Michael Grant. Pub. HarperCollins, 2012.

This sequal was a joy to read because of Michael Grant’s sharp wit, cynical sense of humour and fast moving plot. Justin Beiber takes a right kicking near the end of the novel in some wonderfully satirical writing.

In book 1 we learn that the evil Pale Queen has been imprisoned for 3000 years by the initial Magnificient 12 or Magnifica who have the “enlightened puissance” and can speak the magical language of vargran.

Now there are only 36 days until she is released.

Mack MacAvoy a twelve year old boy has discovered he is one of the new Magnificent 12 who will have to stop the Pale Queen once she has been released. His task is to find the other 11.

In book 1 with bully boy Stefan he located Aboriginal girl Jarrah also 12(all the Magnificent 12 are of this age). They head to China pursued by all sorts of nasties and find the dragon girl Xiao. Then they leave for Germany but what or whom will they find there.

You will have to read the rest to find out but you will have no difficulty doing that. It is gripping.

In between the search for the new Magnifica there is the story of bad boy Paddy “nine iron” Trout who they will encounter. It is a hugely funny satire of the Mafia gangsters and how Trout gets the name Nine Iron is superb.

Take it from me this is a cracker for primary intermediate and junior high school students.

Calling the Gods by Jack Lasenby

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Calling the Gods by Jack Lasenby. Pub. HarperCollins, 2011.

“Story is our way of understanding ourselves and explaining the bewildering world around us”. Jack Lasenby wrote this quote and it is the gist of this novel. He previously wrote the excellent Because we were the Travellers quartet and this novel sees him back to the darker style of his writing.

Selene is driven unjustly out of her town of Hornish and escapes by sea hoping her boy friend and younger brothers and sisters will follower her. The Hornish community she leaves behind self destructs by internal squabbles and becomes cannon fodder for a stronger town from the south.

Selene returns for her younger brothers and collects five other survivors from her ransacked village. They decide to return to their place of origin to the North which they had heard of from stories told by their elders in better times.

Sailing North in two boats they establish a community in what they suspect is their old homeland and collect a number of other survivors around them. Selene is a brilliant leader and those that follow her, all young, work together for the common good. It is a handbook on how to survive and Jack Lasenby’s knowledge of living off the land and sea is extraordinary.

But will it last?  Then Jack Lasenby then introduces a timeslip scenario in which an old man sees the progress of the young community but they cannot see him. Is he in the past or the future? are the children in the past or the future? Is indeed the future found in the past? Deep stuff. Violence, jealousy and treachery are never far away. Compelling reading.

Brilliantly written in that easy flow style Jack lasenby is famous for. Definitely High school student in appeal and an excellent read.

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