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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(4 star, Verified Purchases). See all 72 reviews
on December 1, 2016
I've never read a book by John C. Wright before and only picked this up because I've always been enthralled by the myths of pagan Europe. I'm inclined to read more of the man's yarns just because of this one.

The book centers around a teenage protagonist, but doesn't wallow in the overplayed 'Woah I'm just a kid and magical stuff is happening!' type of plotline that hampers urban fantasy books of similar ilk. The boy of Gil is actually very refreshing: a hero who wants to be a hero! He is not reluctant to accept responsibility and solves problems with knightly violence. YES!

And while all that is just splendid, I came here for the Elves and they are... exquisite. Elves in most fantasy just bore me, owing to how damn derivative they are, their backgrounds and personalities are lesser riffs off of Tolkien's work. The Elves in this book blow modern fantasy Elves out of the water! This is because Wright mined his version from the real world myths, and while surely they have their own touches that differentiate them further from the myths, they are from the SOURCE, not cut from the same generic supply that haunts most other fantasy novels.

They are capricious, cruel, beautiful and operate on an utterly inhuman axis of morality, just as Elves ought to be! The way John describes them is glorious, and reminds me so so so much of Poul Anderson's talents of rendering the dangerous allure of the fae world, I got flashbacks of The Broken Sword and Hrolf Kraki's Saga when these Fair Folk made their entrances, and I have been looking for an author who just 'gets' them like that for so long!

The book itself is a mighty quick read, and also deals with themes of modernity, the hollowing out of the West's spiritual heritage which has not gone unnoticed nor unexploited by certain dagger eared bastards. Each character is remarkably well characterized, all of the animals in particular. Hopefully you liked Budd from Up because Ruff... Ruff is something special, the essence of every dog distilled into one oblivious yet essentially innocent companion.

His character and all others animals make me want to see John's own kind of take on Aesop's Fables, but I digress! The book is brilliant and I will buy the sequel as soon as I am able.
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on July 26, 2017
The first installment of what might be considered an urban arthurian legend. The dog is a wonderful character. The main character seems cut from the same cloth as the main character from somewither and there is even a reference that's hints at them knowing each other. It is a good solid young adult story full of Arthurian allusions. Any fan of the Wright's will enjoy this story.
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on July 17, 2017
Very good introductory book. I really enjoyed the background of the story, with its references to Celtic, Christian, and European mythos/faith and culture. So many books create some incoherent mythos that the reader is expected to swallow whole but tends to stick in one's throat. This one didn't. Plus, the characters grow and keep our interest.
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on September 7, 2016
I bought this for one of my sons. I don't have a lot of time so I wasn't going to read it, but at 167 pages it was a light burden, and a great reward for taking the time.

The story takes on a bit of a parable style appeal. The situations, if you work them out, leave a lot of questions. But the situations aren't the point. The point is the attitude and the nature of the characters. The main character stays consistent with a "jump in with both feet" outlook that would tend to get one into trouble, but then it seems providence smiles and he gets through with hold-nothing-back determination. It's a good lesson for today.

Overall, the book is just fun. It's a smooth read, too. I look forward to a continuation of the story as both my son and I are wondering what happens next.
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on September 4, 2016
I freely admit I will purchase anything by John C. Wright until he writes a disappointing book. This book will not break that rule...

A fantastic fantasy world of knighthood and kingship is constructed in a sleepy small North Carolina town. The setting is quaint. The main character and his dog age lovable. The plot is pretty engrossing.
Liking forward to the next entry in the series for sure!
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on August 31, 2016
This is a strong start to a new YA series that brings back the Arthurian and Spenserian (if that's a thing) sensibility to the modern world. Rollicking good fun, plus an education in the sadly neglected traditions of England.
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on April 7, 2017
A very good setup book for the series. If you like knights and fantasy in a modern day setting this is a very good book
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on July 4, 2017
Feels very much like a fairy tale hero's journey.
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on October 23, 2016
Too short and sometimes too descriptive of issues of secondary --even tertiary-- importance.
Still a good story, nice read.
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