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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Book Review The Emerald of Phaunos

Flavored Reviews
by Ginger Gelsheimer

The Emerald of Phaunos
by Scott Collins

Click here to buy The Emerald of Phaunos or read additional reviews.

Magical adventure complete with evil lemon-eating king and slimy villains!

4 stars!

Brief synopsis: Daniel, Aidan, Olivia and Lilly continue on their journey from when we last saw them in the first book, Scepter. Queen Iris of the fairies gave them the scepter and they are now hunting for the jewels that give it power. The first one they decide to look for is the emerald, which holds magic power for the earth.

Of course, they are also still on the run from the evil king, Argyle. He is determined to have them captured so he can torture and punish them for threatening his collection squads. He needs his cinnabar and and he needs it now. More children, more slaves!.

The story is perfect for middle-grade children and preteens who enjoy the fantasy genre. Big kids will love the story, too, but it is written for a junior high level. The story unfolds in mystical places including beneath the white mountain and the Arcelot Forest. Scott Collins does a great job bringing the reader into the scene, especially when the forest is coming to life.

Originality: Mr. Collins has created an original story with this group of children who each have their special talents. They each play an important role in their survival as they try to save the people from the tyrant king, Argyle and hope to find their families. The creatures they face along the way are colorful, including something like a gigantic jellyfish, half-men-half werewolf diegylis and strange gorillas. I did get hung up a little bit with the building of many, many campfires and places to sleep for the night, but I also knew that meant something was right around the corner.

Characters: The characters are believable, even possessing the riff and raff between Daniel and Aidan as two brothers would. Just because they are in a jeopardy situation, doesn’t mean that would go away and Collins does a great job of keeping them real and true to their age. I like Lilly’s character. She’s blind, but never let’s it stop or discourage her and she remains strong and independent. I liked the addition of Zack, but his stuttering was a little distracting.

Collins does a fantastic job creating animosity toward his villain. Argyle is evil ogre of a king. He starves his people, not even allowing them the scraps from the floor, and he eats lemons. His heart is small, and black as coal. He works his people to their deaths. He possesses magic that will be dangerous for the children as they try to evade him and find the other jewels.

Then, there is Fracik, who is bad, yet you feel for him. His memories of his long lost wife and daughter haunt him. I kept wondering if he was going to turn into a good guy.

Recommendation: This book goes well with chocolate chip cookies and ice cold milk. I would highly recommend this series to middle-grade children who enjoy a magical adventure and learning a few lessons along the way.


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1 comment:

  1. Nice review, Ginger! I look forward to reading the second book as I also enjoyed the first.