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I brought this on the spur of the moment as I liked both the title and the cover. It tells the story of a young wizard, his familiar, a talking armadillo and a slightly older boy who we should perhaps describe as an inept luthier come necromancer. The three main characters are all charming especially the armadillo. The story involves a quest to save the wizard's village from a drought. The wizard and armadillo go forth on the quest have adventures, meet the older boy and then bang! It is all over. The quest completed in the last two chapters, it is very disappointing you feel like the author suddenly got bored and ended it all. To be fair it is a good ending. In the end notes it mentions there was some disagreement between the author and her publishers, is this an adult or a children's book, the author regarding it as the latter. I'm with the author this is definitely a children's book but it is hard to pin point what age range it is aimed at, it is too difficult for many ten year olds and too childish for a lot of 12 year olds but then I am 58 so what do I know?
I came across T Kingfisher's name in a twitter spat about who is the best author to read after Terry Pratchett's sad death means no more Discworld *sob*. KJ Charles (who is also great) weighed in with the opinion that it was T Kingfisher and only T Kingfisher. On that recommendation I bought this book and I wasn't disappointed. I think it compares well to the Tiffany Aching books.
As some others have said there is some debate if it was a child's book or not. I personally would happily give it to a 10+ child. Even though there were incidents of terrible violence, it was violence with consequences. In fact every action Oliver and the other characters take in this book has consequences. So in a world where 10+ have probably hacked their parental controls and are playing Grand Theft Auto (or whatever the kids are playing these days) on the sly, I think this book deals with violence in a healthy way.
Ursula Vernon does it again. Charming, creepy and hilarious in equal measure. And the latest in her long line of cute animal companions. Is it a kids book? I loved it and I'm in my 60's. I would have loved it when I was 12 as well. There's nothing any worse than the stuff in Harry Potter, and it's a lot funnier (and shorter).
When the drought makes the villagers desperate a twelve year old is sent on a dangerous journey to bring back the rain. With his small and sarcastic familiar he finds out how powerful minor spells can be.
This is an absolute little gem of a book! As the author says, it is a children's story, but one which can definitely be enjoyed by adults. Oliver is a disarmingly modest and courageous hero, and the armadillo a whimsical but utterly believable sidekick! I really, really loved reading this, and feel that I am not overstating the case when I say that it could, in time, become a children's classic!
I really enjoyed this book, a wonderful but of escapism and very amusing. I enjoy T. Kingfisher very much and have read nearly all her books, I have four daughters and very little time so I hate wasting quality reading time on bad books, you will never go wrong with T Kingfisher. Well worth your time and money.
This book is probably aimed at a younger audience, but I loved it. I'm old enough to have a daughter in her 20's, she and I both enjoyed the book. The armadillo is a real star, the hero is believable, not perfect, but determined to do what he thinks is the right thing to do. I don't want to say too much and spoil the book for others, but I do recommend it very highly.