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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Commitment to friendship is important.
Violence & Scariness
Human sacrifice, some brutal fighting.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
People are drugged to make them docile, some wine is consumed.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, aside from a few fights, there's not much to be concerned with here, even though it's aimed at older kids. There's a human sacrifice and some brutal fighting. Among other themes, the book espouses a particularly proactive view of commitment to friendship that is unusual and refreshing.
Is It Any Good?
An intriguing premise and terrific characterizations mark the beginning of this series by author and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter (Gladiator and Shadowlands) William Nicholson. While there's not a lot of action in this first volume, the intricate and detailed process of setting up this odd little world, encompassing mythologies drawn from several different cultures, is fascinating to read.
The most interesting characters are the secondary ones, especially the hilariously childish and casually murderous Wildman. This is the kind of book that sneaks up on you, having more of an impact a day or two after you finish it. There are several subplots that wind their way through the book like vines and shoots and come twining together at the satisfying climax.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate