Thursday, May 20, 2021

Review: The Owl Apprentice and the Trees of Myth and Magic by Erik DeLeo

Today's review is something for animal tale friends and fantasy fans, who love quick, fast-paced adventures. This book is one in a series of adventures, each with a different animal character in a very different setting and tale. In other words, these can be read as stand-alones without any problem since they don't seem to connect. Not only did this one catch my eye...isn't that owl amazing? But the titles on the others definitely sparked my interest: The Ninja Cat and the Cabal of Shadows and The Squirrel Squire and the Tournament of Oaks. It's a cute looking series, which might be just right for your young reader's summer...if they love fantasy and animals.

Anyway, I'll just let you read on and see for yourself.

Fantastic Tails Adventure, #3
by Erik DeLeo
Middle Grade Fantasy
155 pages
ages 8 to 12

A young apprentice. A magical grove. And an ancient spell that threatens it all.

More than anything in the world, Screech wants to become a wizard. But his dreams of wielding magic are shattered when he’s stripped of his scrolls, wand and robe. With his future uncertain, Screech discovers a hidden and dormant power. Can he learn to control it? Will his new found talent be able to help the sequoias before it's too late? Or will dark forces triumph and overrun the grove?

If you like talking animals, enchanted forests, and unbound magic, then you’ll love The Owl Apprentice. This chapter book deals with many themes including resilience, perseverance, discernment and belief. Perfect for fans of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Redwall by Brian Jacques and The Green Ember by S.D. Smith, along with other fantasy series including The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.

GOODREADS   /    BOOK DEPOSITORY   /    AMAZON    /    KOBO    /   B&N


                                                 * fast-paced adventure
                                                 * magic 
                                                 * animal characters
                                                 * quick read


High tension and never-ending adventure make this into a quick read in a world where owls, trees and ravens battle to control the magic.

Screech is an owl apprentice, and not a very good one. He's a bit clumsy, doesn't seem to barely have an ounce of magic in his wings, and makes more mistakes than he has feathers. When he accidentally ruins the owl's ceremony, they decide enough is enough and remove him from his duties. Forever. Having no friends, he wanders into the forest to discover a sympathetic a tree, and more importantly, that he discovers that he seems to be able to talk to trees. While the talent is unheard of to those he knows, it sparks the interest of the wrong magic wielders and sets off a chain of events which will destroy the world as Screech knows it if he doesn't figure out who to trust and how to stop the evil.

This book starts out with a bang and throws the reader right into a first, plot important scene. But then, these pages leave little time for boredom from start to finish and keep the reader hooked the entire way through. There's just enough time to gain sympathy with him as he's questionably removed from his position and left to sulk alone without a single friend. But after that, the plot propels forward and Screech faces increasing do those around him. There's intrigue, very dangerous battles, tons of magic, a bit of bullying, friendship, and lies. And for a short adventure at only around 150 pages, it weaves quite the tale.

This is a short read and will be great for those with little patience for scene descriptions and thought. While keeping the tale racing forward, it does leaves some things lost on the sidelines. The first pages are a bit too sudden and introduce the catapulting event for the rest of the tale without any background. While Screech is easy to like, the rest of the characters carry quirky personalities but don't really have time to connect with the reader. Some moments go by too fast and small things are skipped over. Still, the tale is well-woven enough to be forgiving, and the writing does pull in.

Young fantasy friends, who want a quick, imaginative read, which is packed with action and magic will enjoy this one quite a bit.

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