I would go back to Ani’s world again, although some aspects of The Scourge fell short for me. I found it frustrating that I could never really pinpoint the age of the two main characters. I knew they were young, but I could never quite tell how young. I constantly had to remind myself that the intended audience is much younger (ages 8-12) and as such, the simplified story worked well. As an adult reader, I felt certain challenges and scenarios were resolved too easily or weren’t quite believable in the way they were resolved so quickly. This book was written as a standalone when it read more like a first in series that was rushed to complete in one book. But for a young audience, The Scourge is an entertaining, well-told fantasy with engaging characters and a scary villain.
Ani’s courageous heart and impish view of the world—not to mention her penchant for getting into trouble faster than you can blink––brings the world of Keldan to life. I would recommend this book for young readers who enjoy a good mystery with a spunky heroine and a loyal ally.