Genre: Middle Grade/Teen, Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Please note I received this book for free from Kindle Scout.
It was an ordinary day for seventh grader Seamus: running with the cross country team, running with and rescuing friend/crush Lacey, fight with best friend Andy, and get benched from Sectionals. But then he gets struck by lightning and ends up on the Isle of Rum, presumably in the Medieval times. He’s squire to a knight on a mission with the king and several other knights and their squires to slay a dragon and take the treasure it guards. Mysteriously, many of the men remind him of people he knows… But things get tricky when Seamus ends up befriending the dragon, seeking instead to save it and the island, because the rest of the group would rather steal the treasures of the isle.
This was a lovely book to read to my son at night. Adventure, knights, a dragon. Plus it’s right around that Middle Grade and Teen point so it was more appropriate for him than most other books I had read so far. I loved the descriptions of the Isle of Rum, which is an actual isle in Scotland, but I was left scratching my head about the setting and time. If it’s Scotland, why doesn’t the dialogue match? Where’s that Scottish brogue? And what time period is this? Medieval times? It seems so, but, again, the dialogue didn’t feel consistent with that. The dialogue felt very modern and even Andrew said “yeah,” but the other characters didn’t catch that. One thing I really didn’t understand was modern Seamus in squire Seamus’ place. He was frequently prevented from explaining who he really was, couldn’t move his body the way he wanted at times, but spoke like a modern boy and had to continually remember to use different words. A lovely story and location, but lacking in authenticity.
The characters aside, the story was clear, concise, and intriguing. There were no subplots to muddle the story and the conflict between Seamus and the king and knights was clear. His relationship with the dragon was touching and interesting. I just wish I knew what happened at the end, before he was transported back home. It ended rather abruptly.
The Bottom Line: This was a great book appropriate for my son and an easy read for me. Overall, the storytelling was nice, though not flawless. I am, however, interested to see if this story will continue. This is a great book for a middle grade to teenage child, especially one who loves dragons and adventure.