PathFinder (TodHunter Moon Book One) by Angie Sage

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PathFinder (TodHunter Moon Book One) by Angie Sage

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sophie Diamond
Reviewed by Sophie Diamond
Summary: A fast paced, exciting story that will leave your young ones heartily entertained.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 369 Date: October 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978 1408858158

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Twelve year old Alice TodHunter Moon, who prefers to be known as Tod, is a Pathfinder, a member of a fishing tribe with a mythical history of travelling across the stars. She lives a nice life in her Pathfinder community until her father, her only surviving parent, doesn’t come back from a fishing trip and Tod is left alone with her horrid step-aunt Mitza.

Tod’s dad isn’t the only person to disappear from the village, her best friend Ferdie has also gone missing. When Aunt Mitza arranges for the same creatures that came for Ferdie to come for Tod, she narrowly escapes. Tod goes on a mission to save her friend but Tod knows that she can’t go home again, there’s nothing left for her. Leaving rescued Ferdie and her brother Oskar, Tod goes to discover her mother’s magykal roots, and her own in the process. Unbeknownst to Tod, now on the other side of the world, the Pathfinder village has been burnt to the ground. And to make matters worse, the villagers have been captured by the evil woman holding Ferdie captive, so Ferdie and Oskar go after them to launch a rescue mission. Things aren’t running smoothly in the magical castle where Tod is either, ExtraOrdinary Wizard Septimus Heap, has his hands full trying to help a Snow Princess whose kingdom has been captured by an evil Wizard, looking for a powerful stone. Oh and the castle keeps being attacked by the horrible reptilian creatures that captured Ferdie. In the end, it’s up to Tod and her friends to save the Snow Princess’s Kingdom where their community is also being held hostage.

I need to start this review by putting it in context. Although this is the first of a new series, it follows on from a previous series about the wizard Septimus Heap. I haven’t read Sage’s other series so I can’t comment on how one helps the other, but I do feel some aspects of the world she has created would make more sense if you read about Septimus Heap first. Saying that, as a stand alone novel, Pathfinder is perfectly readable and enjoyable.

Pathfinder is definitely a children’s book. The story is fast paced and exciting, the children are the heroes and it’s a world full of wonders. Sage’s style of writing lends itself to be read out loud, her writing is funny and inviting. This is the perfect story to read to your children, they’ll be heartily entertained and you’ll enjoy the story more through their enchantment.

I normally guage the reading age of a novel to be around the age of the protagonist but Sage’s audience are most likely younger than twelve. The story just isn’t developed enough to captivate a reader asking ‘why is that happening?’. That was my issue with this story, there wasn’t a lot of motivation behind anything that happened and although the strands do come together in the end, they feel a bit forced rather than forming a smooth finish. This is not something that would bother young readers because at the end of the day the story is fun.

The ending feels hurried and a bit too inconclusive but Sage has left herself in a nice position to pick up a second book, which I'm sure will be just as exciting. I just wish she had expanded more about the world, because she’s clearly building on a history that I as the reader didn’t know. This could be because I haven’t read her other series but not all of her readers will have either and a bit more context would give the book more depth and oomph.

This book would be so enjoyable for children. Sage is a wonderful writer that has created a fun, fast, exciting, witty children’s novel full of colourful characters. If you’re looking for a bedtime story, this would be absolutely perfect.

For more of Angie Sage and an introduction to PathFinder, try her Septimus Heap series.

Buy PathFinder (TodHunter Moon Book One) by Angie Sage at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy PathFinder (TodHunter Moon Book One) by Angie Sage at

Buy PathFinder (TodHunter Moon Book One) by Angie Sage at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy PathFinder (TodHunter Moon Book One) by Angie Sage at


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