At Pembroke Castle in medieval Wales,11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan, brought together in friendship by the one they call The Wild Man, embark upon a quest to save The Wild Man’s life when he is accused of murder and robbery. If they have any hope of succeeding, the three will have to confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. But it is the arrival of King Arthur and what he reveals that surprises characters and readers.
A Tween Adventure Novella
Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is a fantastic young adult adventure! I loved it!
Prince Gavin is the youngest son of King Wallace. He is a Page in his father's household, and in training to be a Squire. I liked this enterprising young man. He may only be eleven, but I found him to be brave and courageous.
Philip is a hard working young teen. Being an orphan, he feels very lonely at times, but his friendship with Prince Gavin and Bryan, the Blacksmith's apprentice, helps. I liked him too, but he has a secret that could change things between the three.
Bryan is a strapping young man, who is not sure if he wants to continue to be a Blacksmith's apprentice. I liked this young man too. He is quite the swordsman, and braver than he realises.
This is a fantastic young adult adventure for children aged 7 to 14. Set in Wales, the tale takes the reader on exciting adventure. The story is told through the eyes of Prince Gavin, Philip and Bryan. Each character is very lifelike and likable. They are very well developed and I felt like, even though they were from a different time, they would fit in well with today's youngsters. They are faced with a difficult challenge; to find the real murderer, and thief of the King's Ransom, a special medallion that belonged to Gavin's father. There is danger and adventure aplenty and there are a few twists and turns that kept me hooked. The author actually put in a huge twist near the end that made me gasp - I sure didn't see that scene coming! I actually sat in shock for a few moments. In fact, there are two secret identities revealed in this story that I would never have guessed in a month of Sunday's! I do wish the story had been a little longer, but as this book is aimed at a younger reader with a shorter attention span, I can understand why it was not. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the story from start to finish, and read it in one sitting.
Cheryl Carpinello has written a fantastic Young Adult Action/Adventure. I loved her writing style, which was fast paced enough to keep even the most fidgety youngster's rapt attention, and the flow was wonderful. I would definitely read more of this authors books in the future.
I highly recommend this book to youngsters aged 6 to 8 as a bedtime story, 7 to 10 years as a read along (depending on reading ability) and 10 to 14 years as a read alone. I also recommend this book to adults who love younger YA Fantasy, or books containing Arthurian legends. - Lynn Worton
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