“Book Review: Kingdom of the Silver Cat”
Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
An enchanting experience to a land you won’t want to leave
Just when you think you’ve seen it all in middle grade fantasy, Thomas Carroll comes out with Kingdom of the Silver Cat. With a unique and detailed perspective, Carroll takes us on an adventure to a mesmerizing world. As the introduction to this new series, I can honestly say that I’m hooked.
After their school bus travels through a mysterious blue light and ends up in a strange field, a group of kids quickly discover the truth—that they won’t be going to school today. They assume the adult in charge (their bus driver) will figure things out for them, but when he fails to return from searching for help, they soon realize that it’s up to them to get themselves back to where they came from. But not long after arriving, the kids begin to show unique magical powers. While the world and powers seem exciting, they still know they need to get back home, for the road back is filled with challenges they never could have imagined.
The children in this story create a sense of camaraderie that will inspire young readers and bring a feeling of pleasant nostalgia to older ones. As an adult, I read most of this book with a smile on my face, happy to feel a part of the group that evolves because of this magical bus ride. Ranging in age from 8 to 13, each child is on a personal journey along their trip back home, and though there are quite a few characters to keep up with, Carroll does a wonderful job of making each individual story interesting enough to captivate the reader.
Carroll’s imaginative writing really brings the world of Hevelen to life. The way he describes each new aspect of the land gives the reader a clear image that is often exciting and unique to imagine. The fruit he describes makes your mouth water, the animals seem realistic despite their kooky differences, and when danger arrives, the hairs on your neck will stand tall. I feel impressed by the care given to each small detail; they make each section of the book that much more enjoyable. Carroll’s imagination seems to know no bounds, as do the places that this series can possibly go in the future.
Though the characters are all very young, I’d recommend this book to any reader interested in fantasy novels—and especially to middle grade readers. The content is both suitable for a younger audience but enthralling enough for people much older. I ended it more than ready to read whatever comes next, and I think you and your kid could too.
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