|A Dog's Life! (Knightmare) by Peter Bently|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Quite a basic story for what seems a basic level reader, but the energy and fun should just about win over the target audience.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 176||Date: August 2015|
|Publisher: Stripes Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
Meet Cedric. He's squire to Sir Percy, the poorest, laziest, lamest and daftest Knight in the land, who's only just gone and told the King that their home, Castle Bombast, is the most secure and well-defended building in the land. So, quicker than you can say 'Look after my trebuchet, then', Cedric is in a right mess – having to use himself and the jester as loyal guards, find a host of others, and of course a fierce, devoted and unwavering guard dog. I'd be surprised if anyone, even the Knight, sees it all going to plan…
I have to admit I haven't met with this series before now, although it does read as something quite below my level, just above emerging readers. There is a decent word count, but nothing to tax those just starting to finish books on their own without support. With that I mind, I can't really quibble at the simplicity of things – there is really only the one plot, and one focus – that of the special catapult the King is transporting, and the spies his enemies might be employing to steal it.
But that's not to say it's a completely lame, dunderheaded piece – this is more of a Cedric than a Sir Percy. There are some obvious call-backs, of plot points and elements that have been before us but we've forgotten – and there are some surprising ones, too. There's an easier, more subtle way with characterisation than you might perhaps expect, with Cedric's first person narrative being bright and warm, and not always complaining about his lot.
And there is, of course, Sir Percy being stupid – lying, lazing and worse, throughout any kind of situation. His idiocy and the way things turn out just right for Cedric is what makes the book fun. And fun is what it boils down to being – lively, friendly, energetic and very readable fun.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
The same audience should get on well with Borgon the Axeboy and the Dangerous Breakfast by Kjartan Poskitt and Philip Reeve, and enjoy the young primitive man's adventures.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Dog's Life! (Knightmare) by Peter Bently at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy A Dog's Life! (Knightmare) by Peter Bently at Amazon.com.
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