by Cinda Williams Chima
I’ve been catching up with titles and series that I know my middle school readers have enjoyed one at a time. That’s the main reason that I picked this title up. For the most part, I enjoyed it. I can see recommending this one to Percy Jackson lovers because it has some similar situations: a presumed “normal teenager” discovering his talents as both a wizard and a warrior; the training that one receives to better the skill set; the help from mentors; the resolving of conflicts via unconventional means; and a bit of romance. I only wish that the prose has been a little less bland — either darker, more atmospheric, more descriptive, more dangerous, or more humorous — instead of just “talk talk talk talk talk.” That’s how I felt as I read — being “talked to” not “story told to.” And of course, I wish that I were a faster reader so I didn’t have to spend as much time on the pedestrian prose to get to the story line (which is fairly solid and quite inventive….)
I do appreciate that the main characters are from American midwest, and some Americana flavor was introduced — although the Wizarding world is still modeling after medieval European traditions.
Will I read the rest of the series? According to my (now high school) students, this is the best of the entire series… so I don’t think I will be able to spare time when I really need to catch up with some other titles.