The Broken King by Philip Womack

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The Broken King by Philip Womack

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Dull fantasy with boring characters pales in comparison to the amazing books out there in this genre. Not recommended.
Buy? No Borrow? No
Pages: 272 Date: June 2014
Publisher: Troika Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1909991002

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After his little sister Anna annoys him, Simon tries to scare her by repeating an old rhyme calling for the Broken King to snatch her away from this world. But even though he's almost immediately sorry for what he's done, it's too late. The Broken King is real and follows Simon's command, mysteriously appearing in Simon’s house and stealing the girl. Teaming up with Flora, whose brother has also disappeared, he heads off on a dangerous mission to The Broken Kingdom. Can the pair of them rescue their siblings?

The Broken King seemed to irritate me from almost the first few pages. While it's based on epic poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, the opening reads so much like a gender-swapped version of cult classic David Bowie film Labyrinth that it made me want to put the book down and get the DVD on, while as the book progressed I got less and less interested. Of course, there's no reason a book has to be particularly original to be successful and/or good, but it needs something going for it. Here, there's little to recommend it in any way. We have unlikeable characters, a writing style which did little to engage me, and a plot which felt unsatisfying. The Broken Kingdom itself wasn't really brought to life for me as a setting, either.

It also has the cliffhanger ending that I personally really dislike in books but have almost been conditioned to expect from kids' fantasy novels these days. There’s a lack of anything approaching a proper resolution, and you need to read the rest of the series to find out properly what's going to happen. Personally, I won't bother.

I can't recommend this, especially with the sheer amount of brilliant fantasy and adventure out there for children this age.

For a children's fantasy novel about a disappearing sibling which I rather preferred to this, try The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin.

Buy The Broken King by Philip Womack at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Broken King by Philip Womack at

Buy The Broken King by Philip Womack at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Broken King by Philip Womack at


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