A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Even aspiring thieves need to apply themselves in school, studying foes and puzzles they're likely to encounter and learning to work as a team.
Rules are rarely as clear-cut as they may seem. The line between right and wrong can blur and move depending on your perspective: Empathy can help make sense of seemingly abhorrent behavior. Preparation and teamwork can make or break a mission.
Positive Role Models
Colm and his fellow dungeoneers work best in teams, relying on one another's skills to see them through safely. Colm's heart is in the right place, but his moral compass is still undecided. He and his friends second-guess some of their mentors' assumptions about fairness. Colm's family is loving and loyal, and they value honesty highly.
Violence & Scariness
Fantasy violence and peril: goblins, orcs, booby-trapped dungeons, giant spiders, and people who are quick to pull out swords and knives. Dungeoneering is deadly for the inattentive, ill-prepared, or unlucky. Theft is punished with the loss of a hand.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Dungeoneers is a thoughtful fantasy about a training school for dungeoneers, children who have been recruited to navigate deadly dungeons and steal treasure from monsters who've stolen the goods from others. Author John David Anderson (Sidekicked, Minion) again explores themes of fairness, justice, and morality, this time with barbarians and thieves instead of superheroes and villains. There's fantasy violence and peril: goblins, orcs, booby-trapped dungeons, giant spiders, and people who are quick to pull out swords and knives. Dungeoneering is deadly for the inattentive, ill-prepared, or unlucky. Theft is punished with the loss of a hand.
Is It Any Good?
This smartly written tale of thieves, mages, swordmasters, and monsters is more about the relationship between a boy and his mentor than action-packed adventure. In THE DUNGEONEERS, John David Anderson brings the same grounded sensibility and wry humor that make his superhero-world novels such a joy to read.
Despite the thrilling fantasy backdrop and richly developed characters, Colm's tale isn't as absorbing as Anderson's earlier books. The most enjoyable scenes involve banter between Colm and clever, silver-tongued Finn and the childish, scene-stealing Thwodin. The action sequences are exciting but too few and far apart. Though fantasy fans may be slow to warm up, they'll find this book rewarding in the end.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.