Parents' Guide to

The Adventurers Guild

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Kids battle monsters in fun, heroic, action-packed saga.

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

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Kids say (2):

Battling monsters is loads of fun in this winning combination of fantasy, action-adventure, and humor. The Adventurers Guild starts with stock characters and formulas, and brings them vividly to life. Chapters alternate between Zed's and Brock's points of view, and their strong friendship is at the heart of the story. Zed's small, quiet, and elven, while Brock's brazen and always ready with a smart-mouthed quip. While he provides contemporary, slangy humor, their dynamic shifts in interesting ways. Brock also engages in some romcom-like sparring with Liza, and we wonder if sparks might ignite in future books.

Though the pages drip with monster blood, authors Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos also deal smartly and sensitively with issues of sexism, racism, and class. Liza, tutored in etiquette, is fierce and brave. Zed, half elven, has to deflect prejudice. And since the kids hail from different classes -- servant, merchant, and noble -- issues of class are talked about directly. The book slyly leaves some questions unanswered. As it ends, monsters are still at large, as well as some shady humans we've come to mistrust. Who's good? Who's not? People, magic, and even the choices the kids have to make are not always what they seem in this nuanced series opener.

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