Top positive review
Good wholesome adventure novel for young readers.
Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2016
Book is a wholesome, young-adult (or maybe younger??) adventure novel of a young boy who is unsure of his identity finding a place in the world and feeling special. In other words, it is about what lots of these young adult books are about. However, in this instance, it plays out in a sort of medieval setting where there are castles, horses, kings, etc.... The only sort of magical aspect to the book is the appearance of a few monsters. So no sorcery here.
It is a kid's book, so the issues the main character, Will, faces are wondering who his parents were, feeling the first mysterious moments of noticing the other sex, dealing with bullies, feeling the joy and strength of friendship, facing up to being caught causing problems in the adult arena, feeling the anxiety of attending adult, formal social gatherings, seeking approval from role models etc....
What makes this a traditional work in this genre is that the role models in the end always come through and are fair to the kids. The evil is always defeated, though sometimes rather more quickly than it should given the build up of how no one EVER faced down monster X before. The kids in the book focus on a host of anxieties any young reader can appreciate, but in the end everything works out.
The book is very positive in this sense. I hope today's young kids are not so jaded they can not read this and find some comfort and stability before they reach the craziness and harshness of adulthood. I just am not sure if with the internet and the harshness of video games and the exposure to sexuality and violence that are so much a part of our society today's kids in third through sixth grade can read something this positive without thinking it is unrealistic. I hope like heck I am wrong.
I thought it was a pleasant read, but when I was in third or fourth grade I would have devoured this eagerly and thought it was the greatest thing! There is no swearing or sex in the book, a good deal of light humor that I think kids will catch even if the kids in the story do not always catch it, and a fair amount of stereotypical scenes and characters.
Clearly more for young readers than adults, but a nicely done book.