Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review of A Wizard Named Nell by Jackie French Koller

Synopsis: " the magical world of Eldearth, Witches and Wizards live side by side with Humans, Weefolk, though elusive, are abundant, and Dragons and Unicorns still walk the land. But the present Imperial Wizard, Keeper of the Light that protects Eldearth, is aging and ill. If a new apprentice is not found soon, Eldearth may succumb to the evil powers of the dark Lord Graieconn. There is a long tradition in Eldearth that the keeper must be a Wizard, and only boys can be Wizards, but so far, all the boys who have attempted the difficult quest to become Apprentice Keeper have failed. Time is running out.
Princess Arenelle, a promising young Witch, has just reached eleven, the age of Magic, and wishes to undertake the quest. Her father, King Einar, forbids it, fearing for her safety and claiming that her heart is too soft. Against the King's wishes, Nell sets out into the unknown with her pet demidragon, Minna. Aided by Folk she meets along the way and an albino Dragon that she rescues from near death, Nell battles the fearsome forces of nature, Evil, and ignorance that are amassed against her. It will require all of her strength, cunning, and courage to defeat them. Does Nell have what it takes to become the next Apprentice Keeper?"

My Review: This is a great middle grade fantasy, thought it is definitely geared more towards girls but boys could also enjoy the adventure portions of it. It plays off a lot of familiar themes in fantasy and contains the classic good versus evil storyline. I have noticed that one thing I dislike about fantasy novels is the similarity in the names of the 'big evil force' and the 'big good force' and they always seem to be unpronounceable, kind of irritating. I also noticed in this book there were several made up words in the beginning (and were kindly defined in the footnotes of the page) but that really tapered off through the rest of the book so it seemed kind of pointless. Those minor issues aside I really enjoyed the book, it was quick reading and a fun story with all the elements I look forward to in a fantasy. I enjoy where the story is going and plan to continue reading the series.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this book but really doubt I will give it to munchkin to read since it is so clearly geared towards girls.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

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