Parents' Guide to

Forest of Wonders: Wing & Claw, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Talking beasts, bright kids pep up fantasy series start.

Forest of Wonders: Wing & Claw, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Great book, but I would say wait til age 12 or older (violence and scariness)

I have been reading this book to my 9 year old who loves fantasy and animals, and she loves it so far! I got a little over half way through, and read the rest myself before reading the rest with her. gets really creepy and scary! Honestly its about as creepy as I ever like to get in books! I do not want to read the last of it to my daughter! (Spoiler alert) The book takes on a darker tone in the last third. For an out-of-the-blue turn of violence, it starts with the main character (who, btw, is 12) getting whacked in the head with a board by another child in the middle of a night sneak-out (which I'd say is a muderous move). Then they discover a sinister plan by the adults to train animals to kill people, and of course the animals are treated and housed horribly, and subject to horrible experiments. Then the birds try to kill them as they escape by trying to stab their eyes out, and with a deafening screams. I don't know, this might not sound that bad just writing about it here, but I think it's done in a way, with enough nightmarish detail, that its just too creepy for us, and for my 9 yo at this point. Oh, and the main character is also not only betrayed by, but suddenly almost killed by, his own beloved uncle, who up to that point, has been nothing but loving and supportive in his life (not much foreshadowing of this, no suspicious behavior on his part, nothing). I think that's a little much for this age as well. Don't get me wrong, its a great book, well-written, great creative subject matter, just not age-appropriate for us right us right now, which is so disappointing!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Young animal-loving fantasy fans will find much to enjoy in the Wing & Claw series start, including talking animals, a brilliant young apothecary and his resourceful friends, and a mysterious forest. The beginning of the book is a little misleading, with the setup of the Forest of Wonders. Readers will be expecting to get lost in that magical place with the main character, Raffa. But instead of heading back to the forest, Raffa goes to the big city -- a place with even bigger secrets but not wondrous ones. It's rather hard to fathom why the bad guys are acting the way they are; there aren't a lot of hints for the reader to go on.

However, Raffa's escapes from soldiers using his stash of apothecary ingredients are as clever as the new friends he meets. Both Kuma and Trixin are strong girl characters whom readers will immediately root for. And after an exciting cliffhanger, kids will clamor to see what's next for Raffa and all his friends, human and furry, in Book 2.

Book Details

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