To join in, all you need to do is:
- Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
- Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
- Write three words to describe the book.
- Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.
I’m cheating again this week (is there even a week when I don’t?!) and I’ve picked two books:
A Darkness of Dragons and A Vanishing of Griffins, Books one and two in the Songs of Magic trilogy by SA Patrick. Cover art by George Ermos. Published by Usborne.
I had A Darkness of Dragons waiting for an embarrassing amount of time. The only good thing about this is the fact that it meant I could go straight onto A Vanishing of Griffins when I finished it. (Only now I’m left desperate for book three with at least a year to wait!)
I love (almost) any book which draws on fairy or folk tales, so I was really drawn to the way this used the story of the Pied Piper as its base. And it works so well – all at once we have a brilliant take on a classic tale; a fantastically dark, powerful and mysterious villain; and a unique and believable magic system.
Our main characters – Patch, Wren and Barver – make an interesting and loveable central trio who find themselves suddenly and unexpectedly thrown together, but quickly develop strong bonds and an unshakeable loyalty.
Together, they set out to find and stop the villainous Piper, but each with their own journey to make too. The way in which their individual stories unfold and develop is woven into the main plot expertly, and with so many twists and unexpected turns, just when you think they’ve reached their goal, another obstacle appears, another mission is required or another chain of events set in motion.
No quest would be complete without a whole host of interesting characters met along the way, and that is certainly the case here – from noble to untrustworthy to those you can’t quite place; from sorcerers to witches to pipers in hiding and cut-throat pirates; from respectful and respectable elders to power-hungry leaders to, of course, a seemingly unstoppable enemy.
This is a fantastic adventure series, with breathtaking journeys through some well-imagined and depicted places (I am especially intrigued about where our story will pick up in book three!) Full of magic, friendship and excitement – highly recommended!
My favourite quote from page 11 (of A Darkness of Dragons) :
“He thought for a moment, but all that came was that terrible, dark wall through the forest, one step after another with no end. His eyes widened.” I don’t even remember my own name!”
These books in three words:
Magic. Quest. Adventure.