Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Don't all librarians have super powers?

Alex is struggling as the apprentice to an elderly librarian at a castle filled with old, musty diaries and laundry lists, and when Master Farnsworth dies under suspicious circumstances, the Dowager Duchess Purslane has had enough of him and sends him away. Not wanting to go back to his militaristic family, he forges the duchess' signature to obtain lodging and supplies, and journeys to Aethel, where the librarian has noticed books acting in a strange way. He secures a trial period until the end of the month from Queen Kenneret, who is very young and under the thrall of her Uncle Patch. Alex finds the library in an advanced state of disrepair, and sets to work putting things right. As he does so, he comes across more books, all with a strange symbol on them, that seem to have a mind of their own. He also uncovers evidence of a horrible historical event sixty years in the past that dealt with "L.B."s, and was devastating. He often runs afoul of Kenneret (he takes supplies since she won't give them to him), but she is impressed with his dedication. When her younger brother Charlie is kicked out of school again, she apprentices him to Alex. The two don't get on until Charlie challenges Alex to a duel, and Alex proves himself to be quite capable. Uncle Patch is involved in suspicious activities, the kingdom is in a fragile state, and Kenneret has to prove herself. Will the activities in the library, and the arrival of Alex's family, prove to be far more intertwined than we could imagine? I strongly suspect a book two to be in the offing.

Good Points
Alex is a strong-headed but dedicated librarian who was "chosen" by the Red Codex. He doesn't believe that books are evil, even though they are capable of evil actions, so he doesn't want to destroy them, choosing instead to lock them up. He thinks that the books house the authors' spirits, so wants to keep them alive. There is a timely tie-in between the problems of the kingdom and the emergence of the "L.B."s that modern day librarians will love!

Kenneret and Charlie are brilliantly portrayed as well-meaning royalty who aren't quite sure what the best thing for their kingdom is. Luckily, they are open to trying. I would not be averse to a romance between the librarian and queen!

The library itself could have used more description, as well as more cups of tea by the fire, but times are dire, and we don't quite have the polished wood and gleaming rows of leather spines arranged quite yet. I will allow Alex a book or two to set things right in Aethel before getting the library whipped into shape.

Readers who loves the environment of this author's The Magic Thief or other medieval fantasy books such as Pierce's Tortall, or even the more modern Wexler's The Forbidden Library series, will enjoy imagining that they are working alongside Alex to both arrange books and help save the kingdom with swords and magic.
Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
"Well-behaved women seldom make history." —Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Fairy Mom and Me
From the bestselling author of the Shopaholic series and the...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Picture Us in the Light
Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Time Tracers
Twelve-year-old Taj Carter is on a high-stakes mission to track...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Screenshot
Skye's social media game is always on point. Until her...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Better Together (Heartwood Hotel, #3)
Spring has come to Fernwood Forest, and the Heartwood Hotel...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sky in the Deep
A 2018 Most Anticipated Young Adult book that is...
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Devils Unto Dust
Keep together. Keep your eyes open. Keep your wits...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
All The Things We Lost
After her mother’s death, eighteen-year-old Katie finds herself in...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
White Rabbit
Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving, delivers another...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!
Q: What do you need to become a great fairy...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ada: Aegis Default
Newly famous and burdened with responsibility, Ada Anand has to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ada: Solstice Volition
When Ada Anand is given a very special gift for...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Drum Roll, Please
Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ignite
Four strangers. Four powerful elements. To survive a ruthless...
 
3.5
 
5.0 (1)

Latest Member Reviews

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
 
4.3
"“… with hard work, perseverance, and a love of math, anything was possible.” Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson,..."
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
 
4.7
"“Women and girls have been sharing things up for a long time, resisting those who would box them in.” ..."
The Queen Of The Tearling (The Tearling Trilogy, #1)
 
4.0
"An exceptional middle-fantasy debut, keyed to a New Adult audience. Kelsea is an unremarkable orphaned girl, long kept..."
The Selection
 
5.0
" The Selection by Kiera Cass is unlike any book I’ve ever read. Reminiscent of The Bachelor in setup, but..."
Fairy Mom and Me
 
4.5
"Ella has the coolest mom ever because she's a fairy. Magic and all. The best part? Ella will be a..."
Picture Us in the Light
 
4.7
"Danny Cheng appears to have it all--a tight-knit group of friends, a full ride to his school of choice, artistic..."
Oshun Rising: Trinity Forest Book 2
 
4.0
"The story: Ember Trouve, missing for three years in Trinity Forest, has been “rebirthed”, in the form of a..."
Time Tracers
 
5.0
"Taj is confused when he wakes up to what's supposed to be the first day of summer break, but instead,..."
Screenshot
 
3.3
"Asha, Emma, and Skye have been best friends for years, but things have been different lately. Skye is only worried..."
Better Together (Heartwood Hotel, #3)
 
5.0
"When Mr. Heartwood takes a break, Mona the maid feels like she needs to step up to make sure nothing..."
Stealing Liberty
 
5.0
"This is a book that you wish you could just sit down and read without interruption! Keeps you..."
Same But Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express
 
4.3
"SAME BUT DIFFERENT by twins Ryan Elizabeth Peete & RJ Peete is told in alternating narratives and loosely based on..."
The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!
 
4.0
"Isabelle is a fairy-godmother-in-training and is so nervous that she's going to wind up being terrible like her mother was...."
Drum Roll, Please
 
4.0
"Even though Melly was forced to go to Camp Rockaway, it's just the escape she needs. Her parents are getting..."
Everless (Everless #1)
 
5.0
"Everless was my first read of the year and I do indeed feel guilty for reviewing it just now. The..."
Lifeline
 
4.0
"Eli has it all until he falls prey to the addiction of drugs. His last use of heroin nearly kills..."
Stealing Liberty
 
5.0
"Need an adventure to get lost in? Read this book!! It is gripping from beginning to end with..."
Stealing Liberty
 
4.7
"I am amazed as to how versatile Jennifer Froelich is as an author. Each book is so creative and unique..."
Stealing Liberty
 
5.0
"Hidden underneath the rubble and remains of a burned out school library, lies a treasure - a real library that..."
Devils Unto Dust
 
4.7
"In this alternative history the time after the Civil War has caused not only bad times to come to Daisy..."