Young Knights: Pendragon by Julia Golding

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Young Knights: Pendragon by Julia Golding

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: Magic is failing in Avalon and to remedy this King Oberon has decided to enslave the whole human race. Two young changelings, Rick and Roxy, need to free King Arthur from captivity so he can lead them in battle against the Fey. But Arthur isn't quite himself these days . . .
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 314 Date: October 2013
Publisher: OUP Oxford
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780192732231

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What's the best place to hide a bunch of unruly and somewhat excitable pixies on earth? How about the Notting Hill Carnival? Mischief and mayhem abound in a highly amusing scene as a group of changelings, stolen and taken to Avalon over centuries by the Fey, flee with their magical friends from the murderous clutches of Oberon and Morgan and make their way to twenty-first century Britain. In fact this second instalment of the gripping tale about the re-forming of the Round Table abounds with hilarious scenes (Fey royalty on an intercity train, anyone?) but it also has generous helpings of peril, exploits and thrills.

Award-winning author Julia Golding is a skilled writer who has tackled adventures in a variety of different centuries and places. Here, her two main characters are seen in a race against time as they struggle to complete a series of apparently impossible tasks. Escaping the powerful and heartless Fey is only the first hurdle: our human heroes find themselves embroiled in the treachery and viciousness which is Avalon's royal court, and more than once they have to make swift decisions about whether or not to trust the various factions, people and creatures they meet. And getting each and every decision right is crucial because making a mistake means certain death. They find themselves in the middle of a battle, they risk their lives to track down and release the near-legendary Once and Future King, and, in arguably the most exciting and breath-taking sections of the book, they encounter several proud but dangerous dragons. These fabulous creatures may have been captured and constrained to serve the Fey, but their spirits are unbowed, and it's touch and go whether they will thank anyone, human or not, who frees them from their bondage — or simply burn them to a crisp.

Tales of derring-do, chivalry and courage are always popular, but Ms Golding's particular gift here lies in the way she combines life and death challenges with humour. Anglo-Saxon Rick has enough trouble coping with the modern world himself, and despite his earlier sojourn in Oxford still manages to make all manner of embarrassing mistakes. But this time he finds himself burdened with a few headstrong companions, who are determined to have their own way at all times and who, unfortunately, have the magical power to make that happen. This situation provides a rich vein of humour, be it slapstick or wry observation, which works well with the heavy demands placed on Rick and Roxy and helps the story move along at a cracking pace. It's fun and it's exciting: don't miss it!

There are enough clues in this book, the second in the series, to make it perfectly possible to read it as a stand-alone. However, much of the fun involves Rick, who has been trapped in Avalon for centuries, and the way he gradually learns to cope with the modern, high-tech world. Readers will enjoy this book even more, therefore, if they start with Young Knights of the Round Table. And if they want to read more about our hero king, there's the classic The Sword in the Stone by T H White: much more than just a cartoon!

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Buy Young Knights: Pendragon by Julia Golding at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Young Knights: Pendragon by Julia Golding at


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