This review was part of a blog tour hosted by I Am A Reader. You can find this and more at Such A Novel Idea
This was a story about Elfies, a race of tiny creatures that were a combination of elves and fairies. While the Elfies used to be normal sized, a curse on the Kingdom of Reign has left them tiny. And without a ruler.
In Reign there are family Keepers -- a person who keeps the family's book safe -- a book written in blood. Many of the ancient books are lost, including the one written by the King that holds all the answers to save Reign.
We begin with Jules Blaze, a sixteen year old Elfie who has four siblings and a mother to care for as his father is off protecting the kingdom. He is told that his grandparents died in an accident, but is not quick to believe the news. He begins to set off to find them, only to be brought back by his little sister. The following day, he and his siblings are out together when they learn that their home was broken into -- and their mother and family book are missing.
Thus sets the stage for the quest Jules finds himself on.
This story reminded me of The Secret of NIMH or The Borrowers. There was definitely an air of mystery and a lot of suspense. All in all, there were some great lessons to be learned by the characters (and the reader). I have to say reading "books wrote in blood" definitely caught my attention! I love the excerpt I chose to share, because it shows that there is so many lost secrets -- including that they are smaller than they should be.
While the book had some technical issues, the story was compelling enough to keep me reading. I do wish we would have gotten more of the back story earlier in the book and more questions answered. I think these questions most readers have about the back story will help fill in the vast world that is the Kingdom of Reign.
The cover is brilliant and the story is something I know my children will be interested in when they are old enough to read it. It is fast-paced and full of action. For a younger kids book, there are a lot of hard names, so your kids may ask a lot of questions on how to say that. Never fear, Emma does have a list of characters that come with pronunciations. This was definitely helpful. Overall, I enjoyed this story and think your middle grade kids will too.
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review*