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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


***The Hidden Arrow of Maether

by Aiden Beaverson

Reviewed August 2001.

It’s not easy to write a children’s fantasy set in a totally different world.  I’ve read several lately that didn’t quite pull it off, but this one, I think, succeeded.  Much of the difficulty comes from needing to present enough background to understand the magical world.  This book started with a situation we can all understand--an abusive step-father--and then moved on to the magical background of the fantasy world, after we were already pulled in.

I do have to say, though, that there had better be a sequel!  The story is not complete, but when the next book comes out, I will want to read it.  The Hidden Arrow of Maether had the common theme of a child with a special gift trying to learn how to use it.  It’s a middle-grade book, not a young adult, so it’s fairly light, but I did enjoy it.

There was a place where the author broke a rule I’ve decided on:  Never have a character agonize about a decision when the reader knows exactly what choice she will make.  Sure, maybe it’s a hard decision for the character, but we know what she’s going to do, or else the book would be rather pointless!  So don’t try to stretch it out over chapters.  Have her make the choice, then think of all the things that could go wrong.  You can’t fool us!

However, by the time I got to the annoying agonizing, I was already hooked, so I enjoyed this story.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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