Review Detail

Dungeons and Dragons!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Colm is being raised in a family that includes eight sisters, a hard working shoemaker father, and a beleaguered but loving mother. Knowing that the family fortunes are devastated in the wake of a family illness, Colm does the unthinkable-- he picks pockets in town, and comes up with a LOT of money. His father doesn't see this as a good thing, and takes his case to the magistrate, where he meets Finn. Finn wants to make Colm his apprentice as a rogue, working for Tye Thwodin. Thwodin is a Dungeoneer, and leads a group of talented individuals who help him find treasure in various dungeons and take it for their own. He also runs a sort of school, and Colm's introduction to this is finding himself trapped in a dungeon with Serene, a Druid, Lena, a warrior/barbarian, and Quinn, a mageling. They break out in record time, and set to preparing for their trial. Some odd things are going on in Thowdin's world, including Master Wolfe being set upon by orcs, but Colm blossoms under Finn's tutelage. He can pick locks, and learns many other copying skills. He also makes the acquaintance of one of the most accomplished dungeoneers-in-training, Ravenna Heartfall, who is striking and mysterious. The trial brings many challeges as well as some surprises, and Colm must utilize all of his new skills to keep himself and his new friends alive.
Good Points
Colm was a fantastic character. At home, he was just trying to survive his rambunctious sisters, knowing that his father wanted him to become his apprentice, but realizing he hoped for more than such a hard scrabble existence. Not knowing where to find any other kind of life, he is relieved and excited when Finn shows up and promises him untold treasure, but only as the result of hazardous undertakings. Repairing shoes for a living, or adventure where one might possibly be eaten by an orc? The choice for most twelve year olds is quite clear! Colm works hard and makes good progress, and his loyalties and character are tested in a great twist at the end of the book.

The supporting characters are fun as well-- Serena can talk to animals, but is afraid to talk to large ones. Since those are the most useful animals with whom to converse, she has to overcome her fears. Lena is bound and determined to be the fiercest barbarian ever, and the insults that she hurls are delightful-- at one point, she threatens orcs with putting her fist down their gullets, bringing up their last meal, and making their neighbor eat it! She also wants to name her sword "Bloodgulper"! Quinn has the ability to shoot fire out of his fingers, and occasionally his ears, but needs to learn to control his powers and overcome some of his fears. Ravenna doesn't get too much coverage in this book, but I can see her emerging as a love interest in the second book-- it's fantastic that she ends up saving Colm!

Anderson's prose is fast-paced and funny. As he did in Minion and Sidekicked, he has created unique and quirky characters who embrace the challenges thrown at them by their magical worlds. My only objection was that the world building seemed weak, mainly because the book supposes that the reader is familiar with the sort of medieval-ish setting where boys are sent away from their hamlets to seek their fame with swords. The dialogue at times sounds very modern. However, when I read other reviews of this title, I learned that the setting owes much to the Dungeons and Dragons game, or other role playing games of adventure. Since Runescape makes me cry bitter tears of frustration, I didn't understand this facet of the book. Fans of RPGs will adore this, and be quick to imagine themselves into the story.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

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

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Goodnight, Little Llama
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Little Llama, who is about to make a very...
The Boy and the Sea
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A picture book meditation on curiosity, wonder, and finding one’s...
In Your Cozy Bed
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
A soothing bedtime board book from the creators of In...
Chicks Rock!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Rocker Chick overcomes stage fright to find her voice in...
The Beach (Bluey)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Read along and join Bluey's latest adventure! ...
All About Bluey
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Bluey! This lovable and imaginative Blue Heeler puppy is...
Instructions for Dancing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The critically...
Jonathan: Prince of Dreams
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Still recovering from the tragic loss of his mother, typical...
Missing the Beat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dream job? Check. The best friends? Check....
Meeting the Star
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The spotless reputation? Check. The gorgeous movie star?...
Making the Play
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The school of her dreams? Check. The perfect...
Runaway : Immortals of Indriell
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They claim her mother died a hero. They...
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this sequel to The Kinder Poison—which People magazine...
Kneel
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This fearless debut novel explores racism, injustice, and self-expression...
The Tragedy of Dane Riley
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A teen confronts his feelings about his father’s death,...
Heartbreakers and Fakers
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of The Best Laid Plans comes...

Latest Member Reviews

A Season of Sinister Dreams
 
4.3
"A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS is an engaging YA fantasy that follows two young women, Evra and Annalise. Annalise lives..."
Fire with Fire
 
4.7
"Dani Rivera may excel at every part of her dragon slaying training, but she would rather focus on being normal..."
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
"THE CRUELEST MERCY is an intriguing second book in an enthralling YA fantasy series. After the rush and danger of..."
For the Wolf (The Wilderwood, #1)
 
4.7
"FOR THE WOLF is a captivating fantasy read that sweeps the reader away to the Wilderwood. Redarys (Red) is the..."
Curse of the Specter Queen
 
4.7
"Curse of the Specter Queen by Jenny Elder Moke is Indiana Jones meets The Mummy (1999) and encompasses everything I..."
The Nature of Witches
 
5.0
"THE NATURE OF WITCHES is a riveting YA fantasy read. Taking place in the Eastern school for witches in the..."
The Immortal Game
 
4.0
"THE IMMORTAL GAME is an adventure-based YA fantasy stemming from Greek mythology. Mount Olympus is run by the gods and..."
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1)
 
5.0
"This was... one of the best books I've read in a long time. It was one of my absolute favorite..."
Go the Distance
 
4.0
"Go the Distance by Jen Calonita is the latest installment in Disney’s Twisted Tale series. This time the story focuses..."
Unchosen
 
4.7
"UNCHOSEN by Katharyn Blair is a YA Dystopian novel set in the future after the Crimson, a virus-like curse, turns..."
In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
"IN DEEPER WATERS is an intriguing and fast-paced YA fantasy. Tal is the fourth of five royal children in a..."
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
"THESE FEATHERED FLAMES is an enchanting YA fantasy about sisterhood, power, and destiny. When twins are born in the royal..."
The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1)
 
5.0
"THE PRISON HEALER is a stunning and captivating YA fantasy read. This book takes place in a prison, Zalindov, which..."
Ember of Night
 
4.3
"EMBER OF NIGHT is an intense and steamy YA fantasy read. The book follows Harley, an almost 18-year-old who has..."
Havoc (Haven, #2)
 
3.7
"HAVOC is an intriguing continuation of a YA paranormal romance. In this world, witches and werewolves live side by side..."
A Curse of Ash & Embers (The Blackbone Witches, #1)
 
3.7
"A CURSE OF ASH AND EMBERS is an intriguing, character-driven YA fantasy read. Elodie has received a letter of employment..."
Flamefall (The Aurelian Cycle, #2)
 
5.0
"FLAMEFALL is the absolutely stunning and enthralling sequel to FIREBORNE, and the second in the Aurelian Cycle trilogy. The book..."
Lore
 
4.3
"LORE is a sweeping and enthralling stand-alone YA fantasy based on Greek mythology. Lore is a descendent of the bloodlines..."
Namesake (Fable, #2)
 
4.7
"Namesake by Adrienne Young picks up right where Fable left off. If you haven’t read the first book in the..."
Namesake (Fable, #2)
 
5.0
"NAMESAKE is a stunning conclusion to an enthralling YA fantasy duology. The book begins right after the first left off,..."