Defender of the Realm by Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby
|Defender of the Realm by Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby|
|Reviewer: Sophie Diamond|
|Summary: Monarchy, monsters and mayhem… what more could you want in a novel for young adults? An amazing start to an exciting new series!|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: March 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
Alfie does not feel like he's the right person to be heir to the throne. He's awkward, bullied and always in the front page of the news for his latest mishap. His brother Richard, as the papers love to remind him, would be much better suited to the part. But when their father the King suddenly dies, ready or not, suitable or not, Alfie is no longer the heir, he is the king and with that defender of the realm. Together with an unlikely ally in the anti- royalist Hayley, Alfie learns his true heritage, protecting the kingdom from all the monsters no one knows exist... Suddenly all the royal duties he'd been expecting don't seem so onerous in comparison. Alfie must quickly grow into the King the country needs, or who knows what will be left of the country?
I LOVED this story. It is unashamedly fun, well written and excellently executed. Alfie is an excellent hero and you'll cheer him on the whole way. Introducing Hayley into the mix was a brilliant way to contrast the privilege of the monarchy. This is a fun fantasy story but it raises some interesting questions about the British Monarchy's relevance to Britain and the somewhat antagonistic relationship they have with their subjects in the 21st Century.
Defender of the Realm is funny and heart-warming and beautifully British in both its subject matter and sense of humour. It's a story deeply rooted in Britain, exploring famous landmarks and the succession of the monarchy since the dark ages, starting with Alfie's namesake Alfred the Great. I think this is a wonderful idea for a story and a brilliant way to get more young people interested in history. Albeit, some of the historical claims are a little dubious (particularly in relation to Alfie's ancestry) but in the wake of such a good story I can gloss over that one niggle.
I read this book in three sittings, I can't recommend it highly enough. I just have one question for the authors… when's the next one out??
Thank you so much to the Bookbag, the authors and the publishers for my advance copy.
If you like the sound of Alfie's adventures, try another story about a teenage hero in Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz one of my favourite authors.
You can read more book reviews or buy Defender of the Realm by Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Defender of the Realm by Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby at Amazon.com.
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