Thursday, 7 April 2016

Reading YA fantasy...

Hello and welcome to Thursday thrills!

Well, there are definitely some thrills in the book I've just finished which you'd appreciate a lot, I think, if you are in the 10 years plus age group.

I bought 80 A.D. The Jewel of Asgard by Aiki Flinthart thinking it would give me an idea of what The Taexali Game might be up against in the Amazon stakes. The book is doing pretty well in the rankings but as the first of a series of around 5 books it has been FREE for more than a year, or on and off FREE for long periods of time (I think) to encourage readers to get a feel for the series and for Aiki Flinthart's writing style.

The very general premise of the book isn't too different from The Taexali Game in that the two protagnists- Phoenix and Jade- become the characters in the interactive computer game that they're playing. The book is set in southern Britain, within a few days walk of Stonehenge. The characters have to evade a few ancient Roman soldiers. Gnaeus Julius Agricola is mentioned, but I'll not give the game away about his connections to the story, But apart tfrom that the actual detail of Roman Britain is scant. I can say the same for the Druids as well so this book is not for anyone wanting a well rounded feel of the society of Roman Britain 80 A.D. but I think kids will like the fantasy of it.

There were a few formatting errors which I noticed near the beginning  -  but perhaps I didn't notice any more because I was into the story and not noticing any more. If that's the case it's a very good thing!

Here's what I've popped onto Amazon and Goodreads.

The story is set in Roman Britain AD 80 which is why I bought the book. However, the ancient Romans don’t feature very much in this action packed fantasy story. There are some interesting twists, especially that regarding The Jewel of Asgard which they have to pick up from Stonehenge. At times it’s good to work out who the real baddies are and to get an idea of how the main characters will conduct themselves in the game that is their quest. Phoenix and Jade age a little in the story which gives them some more maturity to conduct themselves in a landscape that’s unknown to them, and it’s very handy that Jade has some special and pretty impressive powers to hand. They’re both likeable characters: it’s easy to identify with their initial self-doubts. YA readers who love fantasy might like this book but if you’re looking for accurate and thorough Roman Britain detail you might be disappointed. However, the rest of the series might provide that. 


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