This is becoming a great series for younger readers, set in the wonderfully imagined land with strong descriptions and engaging characters that help you be gently introduced to this magical land.
This book is set perhaps a generation or two apart from the first book, in a time of peace across the kingdom. Although a series (the first book being The Dark Star, published earlier this year), this story can easily be enjoyed without having read the first one … but do read it, it is great!
There are new characters, in a setting of young people starting a new school, which allows for plenty of catching up on the history and folklore. This is also a setting that most readers will empathise with.
There are Christian themes throughout, although not overt, for example the main characters having a developing calling to serve the Kingdom, alongside the King. There are also some subtle Biblical references, for example the scene teaching the young people about the importance of armour, describing the purpose of each item, which will resonate with all who have been through Sunday school!
The kingdom is ruled by a benevolent King, whose subjects live in peace and want to serve. However, below the surface there are signs that all may not be quite as it seems, and there is some disquiet.
The reader is immersed into a kingdom of magic, dragons and battles, coupled with a school environment, in which the group of friends learn about honesty, obedience and having a servant heart.
They develop their sense of loyalty, devotion, integrity and purpose from a role model King who believes in peace and protection of his people, born out of servant leadership and drenched in wisdom.
The young protagonists end up having more of an education than they expected, as they are called to serve. They do so faithfully and loyally, as they grow into their roles as young adults and find their place in the kingdom.
It is an exciting adventure, suitable for all.
Thanks to the publisher for my gifted advance copy in exchange for an honest review.