Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Review: The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody


I'm SO excited to share this book with you guys today because it is the most amazing middle grade fantasy book I've read in quite awhile. The adventure...the characters...the fun—it shot Amanda Foody onto my favorite author list the second I read the first pages. 
When I read that this one reminded a bit of How To Tame Your Dragon, I raised an eyebrow or two. Such comparisons tend to make me wary. But oh my! This one swoops in, fulfills those thoughts, and creates a middle grade read which is finally....finally a joy to read without any baggage or grinding or hooks on reality to ruin the fun.
So, mark your calendars for March because you'll want to pick this one up.

Wilderlore, Book One
by Amanda Foody
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Middle Grade Fantasy
304 pages
ages 8 to 12

MARCH 30th!!!

A boy who accidentally bonds with a magical Beast must set off on an adventure in the mysterious Woods in this whimsical and cheeky middle grade fantasy debut—perfect for fans of Nevermoor and How to Train Your Dragon.

The last thing Barclay Thorne ever wanted was an adventure.

Thankfully, as an apprentice to the town’s mushroom farmer, Barclay need only work hard and follow the rules to one day become the head mushroom farmer himself. No danger required. But then Barclay accidentally breaks his town’s most sacred rule: never ever EVER stray into the Woods, for within the Woods lurk vicious magical Beasts.

To Barclay’s horror, he faces a fate far worse than being eaten: he unwittingly bonds with a Beast and is run out of town by an angry mob. Determined to break this bond and return home, Barclay journeys to find the mysterious town of Lore Keepers, people who have also bonded with Beasts and share their powers.

But after making new friends, entering a dangerous apprenticeship exam, and even facing the legendary Beast of the Woods, Barclay must make a difficult choice: return to the home and rules he’s always known, or embrace the adventure awaiting him.


                                             * witty and fun like How To Tame Your Dragon
                                             *  friendships key
                                             * magic, imagination and adventure rule
                                             * tons of humor
                                             * might hit upon messages like self-value and such, but I'm rolling                                                                with the fun


Finally, a middle grade fantasy, which lets imagination gallop free while facing beasts, defeating all odds and simply having a good time.

Barclay is a mushroom farming apprentice—the mushroom farming apprentice. He's determined to become the best mushroom farmer in his town, one in which rules are very important and keep any excitement at bay. While searching for a certain mushroom, the unthinkable happens, and Barclay finds himself breaking two rules: he's deep in the forest and facing a Lore. Little does he know that his life is about to swing in a totally new direction, and everything he was sure of before is about to be swept away.

I love this book. I can't tell you how long I've been waiting to fall into the pages of a fantasy, where adventure carries the story away. Barclay is such a fun kid. He's determined, does his best to fit the image he's suppose to, and yet, can't do it...and it's not because of his lack of effort. He's the perfect hero, who isn't a hero and yet, grows into hero shoes in a way that only he can. Uncertainty, learning to embrace the true-self, and letting life's adventure engulf everything (like it or not)...well, that's what this book's about and, of course, through it all, unrealized dreams come true.

But Barclay isn't the only character to love. Each one dances off the pages with personality, background, and decisions which are very relatable. It's a treat to meet each one, and every single one pushes the story forward. Not that this tale needs more thrust because it races in high-speed through thrilling moments, and those which touch the heart. Oh, and let's not forget the humor. This book definitely packs a ton of that at all the right moments. 

If you can't tell yet, I'm a fan of this series already, and it's only just begun.

And here she is...

Amanda Foody is the author of Daughter of the Burning City, The Shadow Game series, and The Accidental Apprentice. Formerly an accountant preparing taxes for multinational corporations, Amanda lives in Massachusetts with Jelly Bean, a feline companion. Visit her at AamandaFoody.com.

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