Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain (Book One)

Title: The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain
Author: Oldman Brook

Series:The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain (Book One)
Succeeded By: ???


Score: 5/10
Chart Entry Point: 29
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: I'd like to see where this goes...


I was a little confused when I first opened this book and saw how it was written. Instead of the normal past-tense narrative of most fantasy books, this was written in the present tense. As a well-practiced reader of this first-style, it took some getting used to, but after a while I found it almost as natural to read for the most part.

What was immediately clear when I was reading this book is the theme of brotherhood. The three dwarves are brothers, the two shapeshifters are brothers, the two elves are brothers - although they all seem to have a different relationship with their siblings.
The most profoundly written of which is two young elves - the younger of which is in the stage of life where he feels everything should revolve around him. Not often is such a character found in fantasy books, and I quite liked how he was written in this one. On the whole, the characters were pretty likeable, and the differences between races were well defined - even if the differences between the characters of those races were not. The only exception were the main characters, who seemed to speak in exactly the same way - extremely politely. I could see this way of speaking from the older elf brother, who seems the kind to be polite, and the wizard Greybeard, but the dwarves that laugh about farting and suchlike should not be so pretty with their words - which was probably the biggest problem I had with the book. The way the Goblins and dragons spoke however, I thought was done well.

The plot was a fairly simple one, and direct, but as a book aimed at young teens, it is fittingly levelled. There is not much conflict before the climax, the story before then is quite slow as the characters visit various people in preparation. But the climax is a fairly long one, much faster paced leading to the pinnacle of the final showdown, which is pretty exciting. The ending itself is a little strange, in that I kept feeling like the story had ended, or was seconds away from ending, only to find that actually it hadn't ended, but it wasn't handled too badly.

Mainly towards the beginning of the book, I found myself finding certain scenes rather to similar to scenes I'd read in the past - especially similar to The Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring. However, after the first few chapters this feeling got less and less as the story took on a more original path. There was one thing that I did find difficult though - The dwarf Gendralf has a very similar name to a particularly famous wizard, Gandalf. And since he spent an awful lot of time with a similar wizard - Greybeard, I often thought the wizard was speaking, or doing something when in fact it was the dwarf. But perhaps I've simply been reading the Lord of the Rings too much lately.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It took a while to get used to the unfamiliar style of writing, and I felt that, frankly, the images weren't of the quality that the book deserved. I would rather have not had the images, and since there was only a few of them anyway, I don't feel they were integral to the book. But it was lighthearted, and if I currently had children I would give it to them to read. I'll be looking out to see what happens in the future in Everlast.

More Information

Main Protagonist(s): 9 males
Main Antagonist(s): 1(-3) males
Main Relationships: None
Genre: Fantasy, Children's
Brief Synopsis:

Finn and Beezle are enlisted to join Greybeard and his friends on a quest to save the world of Everlast from the very same otherworldly warrior. Seeing that Beezle has a talent for magic after an incident with his magical bear-headed staff, Greybeard begins to teach the little elf a few tricks. But a problem arises when Finn comes into possession of a magical weapon capable of defeating the warrior. Little does anyone know the weapon has a mind of its own and wants Beezle as its master...The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain follows traditional fantasy literature themes and characters and borrows some elements from similar works, including Harry Potter, The Northern Lights and Princess Mononoke. Light and dark fantasy crosses over into sci-fi, horror and action; add to that a wide scope of influences and the creation of a new and vivid world in Everlast, and The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain makes for a truly original story that will captivate children aged ten years and older. Oldman is inspired by a number of authors including J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling and Philip Pullman.
ISBN: 978-1848767614
Website: Official Website
Amazon Link: UK | US
Pages: 440
Published: 28 May 2012
Publisher: Matador

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