Hey y'all! Here's another exciting middle grade - YA book for us!
Did you like THE FALSE PRINCE?
Did you like HARRY POTTER?
This book isn't like those books, but the feel is the same. I felt the same way and I love it!
“A lightning bolt erupted from the cloud and aimed directly at Ned’s heart. He couldn’t cry out. He couldn’t even move. He could just feel the magic sink into his skin and spread itself over every inch of him, bubbling and slithering and cutting deep, until he didn’t know where the magic stopped and he began.”
When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging, bewitched river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived. Sure enough, Ned grows up weak and slow, and stays as much as possible within the safe boundaries of his family’s cottage and yard. But when a Bandit King comes to steal the magic that Ned’s mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it's Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community.
In the meantime, in another kingdom across the forest that borders Ned’s village lives Áine, the resourceful and pragmatic daughter of the Bandit King. She is haunted by her mother’s last words to her: “The wrong boy will save your life and you will save his.” But when Áine and Ned’s paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to make their way through the treacherous woods and stop the war about to boil over?
With a deft hand, acclaimed author Kelly Barnhill takes classic fairy tale elements--speaking stones, a friendly wolf, and a spoiled young king--and weaves them into a richly detailed narrative that explores good and evil, love and hate, magic, and the power of friendship.
ADD THIS ON:
A ROCK CHICK FAIRY REVIEW
I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
FANTASTIC, just plain FANTASTIC. This is how I would describe this book. It has an epic feel. It's as if I was watching a movie. The plot is just so outlandish to me. This is something that should be shown on big screen. It deserves the spotlight. It's so very unique and even dramatic, if I may say so myself.
What makes it more enjoyable is how the characters have very distinct personalities.
I once had a good discussion with a fellow reader about how we read. As it turns out, I've proven lots of times that I read with my heart. That's a fact. I don't remember a lot of facts from a book, but I can definitely tell you how I felt for each scene. So now, let me try to convey my feelings each character:
THE WRONG BOY
You know that feeling when the main character is first being thrown rocks at and is down in the dumps and you just want to fight for him and just tell them all how amazing he will be? I FELT THAT. This book is so powerful that I really wanted to fight for NED.
You see, NED, the main character of this story is deemed as the "wrong boy"-yeah, I know.. how very prejudiced eh?! Something happened at the start of the story that made him be called that awkward name. It's a very tragic event, but it's also a key event for the whole book. It shaped the plot and it starts a chain of events. Anyway, as the wrong boy grows up, he faces many challenges and one of them being, is living in that village. I swear, there were many times wherein I just wanted to pummel the people who call him bad names because frankly speaking, he doesn't deserve it.
The Ned that I knew (as a reader), is kind, considerate, silent but also talented, has shortcomings but tries really hard to do things. He's a good son, a good friend and the best brother.
This story is actually his journey to freedom. It made me smile, made me cry, but also made me jump for joy.
Somehow, I have a love-hate relationship with Aine. I love her because she's so self reliant. She acts as if she's forty when she's way younger (I don't even know their ages, gosh, I'm not sure if I just can't remember or if those weren't really given). I hated her love for her father. I just thought that it was too much... too much that she was almost willing to do an awful act just to save her father. Anyway, she became a good friend to Ned, so that's enough for me to redeem her.
LOYAL. I do remember Ned and the wolf's introduction scene. It's priceless. The day when a wolf feeds me rabbits is the day that I can go bunjee jumping if a person asked me to! The wolf is loyal to Aine and Ned through and through. For the life of me, I still don't know why, but the wolf is VERY LOYAL. It follows them throughout their adventure. It's outstanding! In this story, you'd be given a chance to wish that there's such an animal.
The other characters are also very entertaining. One of them being the "magic" itself. It talks and says the most inappropriate things, yet sometimes wise things--ENTERTAINING! One of the characters that made me cry though, is Sister Witch. Gosh! My heart was just bleeding for her. I could feel her love for her entire family from start to finish. She is one admirable character. Speaking of admirable, I also happen to find The OLD Queen admirable. I like her spirit and her courage. I like the balance of her speech. It's sometimes formal and most of the time either mischievous orn sarcastic. It's refreshing and very hilarious. ;D The stones also, are remarkable characters. It was hard for me to discern whether they are trust worthy or not. They are even wiser than real people, so it's so hard to judge! Lastly, I like Tam. I like how he stayed with his brother and how he took care of him in his dreams. I like how after all that happened, he still loves his brother and the whole family. I love that he never got corrupted and I just love that he's good.
THE MAGICAL DILEMMA
The story revolves around the use of the "magic". Everybody knows that magic should be used only for the good. This book shows how bad it can get when magic is used the wrong way. It shows how people get corrupted. Ned and everybody else have to make a choice whether to use it or not.
HOW IT ENDED
The ending is something that reminded me of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. It's epic and very memorable. I would not forget this even if I read many books after. AND I READ A LOT.
WHAT ONE COULD GET FROM THIS STORY
>There would always be people who judge as quickly as a blink of an eye. A person must know when to shrug it all off.
>Life is full of challenges. Treat them as adventures and bring friends to make more fun and worth it.
>Your family does not define you.
>YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There's always somebody out there who cares for you / might care for you/ will care for you.
>In my opinion, the magic here could be a symbol for the POWER in the real world. Power is a hard to let go of. It corrupts and it damages many things. A wise man once told Spider man, "With great power comes great responsibility." -- I think this applies to this book too.
>Always remember that YOU ARE CAPABLE. You may be incapable of many things, but there are still things that you CAN DO that no one can take away from you. :) You are awesome in your own way.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, I GIVE THIS BOOK 5 FAIRY WINGS!!!