I received copy of this book for free from the publisher (Algonquin Young Readers) for promotional purposes.
This was such a whimsical and enchanting read! The story was full of magic and wonder. It’s not a surprise this book won a Newbery Medal. It reminded me of the fantasy books I read as child.
The characters were also a standout. I particularly liked the supporting characters of Glerk, the swamp monster, and Fyrian, the tiny dragon. They added a lot of heart to the story.
The best part of this book was the writing style. It was so beautifully written. The prose flowed so lyrically; it had a poetic quality to it that added to the magic of the story.
My one critique was that the book moved at a slow pace, especially in the beginning. It took a while for the story to take off.
My edition was the Gift Edition which included a full color map, chapter opening illustrations, and a bonus prequel story. As with all fantasy books, the map was very helpful and made the story easy to follow. The illustrations were cute and I enjoyed the prequel story that offered more insight into Xan, the witch.
Overall, this was a spellbinding middle grade fantasy! I recommend this book to both young readers and adults.
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