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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Friday, April 1, 2011

Review: Trundle's Quest (The Six Crowns)

Trundle's Quest (ARC) by Allan Jones and Gary Chalk (Illustrator)
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pub. Date: April 1st, 2011
Pages: 160
Series: The Six Crowns, #1
Age Level: 9+ (MG)
Source: For review from publisher.

Synopsis via Goodreads
Trundle doesn't think he's an adventurer. He's a lamplighter. He likes everything safe and cozy, and that's the way things are in his peaceful part of the Sundered Lands.

Until Esmeralda barrels through his door.

Esmeralda, a princess with a knack for magic and for finding trouble, is convinced that Trundle is the only one who can help her find the six crowns. Lost and scattered long ago, the crowns could unite the Sundered Lands once again. But not if the pirates find them first.

Suddenly, Trundle is on the run. He becomes a stowaway, a drifter, a thief's accomplice, and a swordsman. Trundle may find that he is a true hero, after all . . . and that this is only the beginning of an epic journey.

Trundle's Quest is an exciting, swashbuckling page turner that forms a very promising start to what I believe is going to be an excellent MG series.

Jones provided me with an eclectic, unique, and highly memorable cast of characters, beginning with our two protagonists, Trundle and Esmeralda. Trundle is our unlikely and reluctant hedgehog hero, content with the constant routine and relaxed pace of his life. He's humorous, in his own way, a bit timid, and also very lovable. I really enjoyed watching him become more brave and bold throughout the story. Esmeralda is the total opposite with an absolute spitfire of a personality. She's spunky, sarcastic, and sometimes even a bit condescending but somehow all of this worked for her and I thought she and Trundle balanced each other perfectly. Also among the cast is Captain Grizzletusk, an evil hog pirate, and his crew which includes: Razorback, another hog; Captain Slaughter, a raven; other various animals including a shrew, rats, and more.

Trundle's Quest is action-packed and full of adventure. I can honestly say I haven't read anything quite like it and the combination of piracy and what we consider wild creatures works very impressively. I found it very easy to get pulled into this world that Jones has so keenly crafted, and Chalk so impeccably illustrated. The plot is fast-paced, but not at all rushed, as well as very fun and refreshing.

The writing was relatively simple but in a good way that allows you to really be able to relax when you aren't in the mood for something complicated. Jones writing style is also descriptive and very humorous. I loved the various swear phrases that, you know, weren't actual swear words, but often had me laughing out loud and kept things appropriate for the MG audience. Also, and you won't hear me say this often, I thought the third-person narrative worked very well with this book.

The ending was thoroughly executed, pulling the first installment in this series to a close quite nicely while still leaving me excited for the next book.

It all comes down to this. How can you say no to hedgehog heroes and evil pirate hogs? I mean, seriously. If you are a fan of MG books, then Trundle's Quest is an absolute must read and I think even those who don't typically read books meant for this age level could enjoy this one. I know I'll be reading it again in the future and I look forward to eventually getting my hands on the second book once it's available.

Characters: A-
Writing: B
Plot: B+
Ending: B+
Illustrations: A
1st in Series: B+
Enjoyment/Likability: B+
Recommendable: B+

Overall: B+

Cover: A

Buy it now: Amazon / Kindle / Book Depository


Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Hedgehog heroes FTW! I love the cover for this one and it sounds so cute and fun. It's definitely an MG book that I'll keep in mind :)

Candace said...

I'm glad it ended up being good! I think I might have gotten offered this one... I'm not for sure, but if so I turned it down because I'm just too overwhelmed. And MG is so hit and miss for me. I like a lot of them, but sometimes I don't. So it's good to hear it's good! I'll keep it in mind if I run across it. Or when I'm more caught up (ha ha, like that's gonna happen!).

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Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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