Continuing the saga of Sir Kaye, this fast-paced adventure has best friends Kaye, Reggie, Beau and their community worried for the safety of the beloved tutor, Alchir. Their search for Alchir leads the boys to a manor house at the edge of a dark forest where nothing is what it seems. A legend of a deadly forest beast keeps the nearby citizens living in fear, but is the beast real, or are the mysterious events in the area the result of something else entirely? Read this fun adventure, highlighting bravery, humility, all-important aspects of success and friendship, to find out!
Revealing new depths to familiar characters, Legend of the Forest Beast continues to add to the richness of the series. Eager to make a name for himself, Kaye struggles to keep his sight on accomplishing his mission and learns to sacrifice his pride for the good of those around him. And it’s Kaye’s best friend Reggie’s quick thinking that saves Kaye from a deadly situation without adding more violence to a volatile situation. The story also introduces Layla, a fiery and outspoken girl whose intelligence and wit are often mistaken for rudeness. However, through her complex character, young readers learn not to judge people too quickly and to try to see what really motivates a person to act the way they do. Legend of the Forest Beast is a story about looking beneath the surface of others, oneself, and learning to focus on what’s most important.
Legend of the Forest Beast Advance Review from The UK Wishing Shelf Awards Reviews:
“A cracking, fun-filled adventure. Highly recommended!”
I do enjoy a good adventure and this is what this is. Don Winn, the author, has plotted a fun and, often, very exciting children’s novel. But not only that, he’s given the reader an array of interesting characters to follow and framed everything in an accessible style of writing.
Now, this book is the third in the set but don’t worry. I have not read the first two but it did not hamper my understanding of who was who and what was happening.
The story opens in the castle hall with the queen asking her knights to protect her tutor, Alchir, from the criminal, Dworfurd. But the meeting is interrupted by the arrival of Alchir’s daughter, Layla, with news her father has already been kidnapped. There then follows a pretty non-stop, well-plotted story with plenty of fighting, nasty criminals and daring knights to keep any young adventure-addict happy.
I was particularly impressed by the style of writing. Many authors tend to describe setting and characters in hefty lumps of text. This might work for adult novels but it can kill a children’s book. Thankfully, this author is wise to this, cleverly mixing up speech, exciting deeds and the describing of character and setting. Subsequently, the writing felt light and not at all like wading through cauliflower-cheese. And, where there is description, it is imaginatively written: “In the dusky hall, his gingery hair looked as brown as mouse fur, but his green eyes shone bright with excitement.”
I was also glad to see there was plenty of comedy in the story, an important aspect of any book for 8 – 12 year olds. Kaye, Sir Griswald, the queen, and in fact, all the knights, were often very, very funny. But, oddly, my favourite character was not a knight, but Layla. She was only a secondary character but she was strong-minded and often very stroppy and I sort of wish she’d had a bigger role to play.
So, would I recommend this story? Yes, absolutely. Any child, approx. 8-12 would love this thrilling story of young knights on a quest for good. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it would make the perfect gift for any reluctant reader (particularly a boy). And, there’s a HUGE cliffhanger at the end so, I’m guessing, Sir Kaye, the boy knight, will be back for another adventure soon.
I always like to finish with the line I loved the most. Well, this is it: “Even asleep, her face wore a scowl.” How fab is that! —A Wishing Shelf Awards Review