Victor and the Sun Orb by Amy Nielsen
|Victor and the Sun Orb by Amy Nielsen|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An excellent plot and good characterisation is let down by poor proof-reading and unfortunately we can't give the whole-hearted recommendation we would like to have given.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 128||Date: October 2008|
|Publisher: Global Authors Publishers|
To understand what happened in Solandia you have to go back five hundred and thirteen years to when Thorkel, brother of Godfred the Fairy King, stole the sun orb. The orb was the source of all power in Solandia and without it the castle and all around it would return to what it was originally – an oak tree – and the fairies would wither and die. Despite being the brother of the king the only concession allowed to Thorkel was that instead of being put to death he was condemned to life imprisonment and buried in the desert sands. Now fairies live for a long time and five hundred years later it was assumed that he was dead but no one really knew.
Freed from the problem of Thorkel the king and Magenta, his queen, were happier and five hundred years after the theft of the sun orb they had a child. The happiness was not to continue – shortly after his birth Victor was cursed and his parents were told that on his thirteenth birthday he would become human and mortal. He would have to leave Solandia and the king and queen.
This is a cracking story that pulls you in on page one and doesn't release you until you've turned the last page. Let's start with the characters. We first meet Prince Victor when he's eight years old – just at the stage when he's beginning to turn into a real personality – and we see his initial cockiness mature into strength of mind and determination as he grows up. He's got good parents though – Godfred is a human turned into fairy and Magenta is the descendant of the fairy royal family. She's indomitable, but there's a real love of her family to balance her obligations to the fairy people. There's not a character in the book which doesn't come off the page – right down to Bogle the talking bird.
The plot is good and there's a great deal packed into relatively few pages. There are no concessions to the age of the target group and even as an adult decades away from the people who are likely to read the book I was pulled in and wanted to know what was going to happen next. There are no obvious plot holes and it's a well constructed story.
The book is written in American English rather than the British version but this shouldn't be a problem in the UK as most tweens will now be able to accept that the USA and the UK don't have an entirely common language. There is, though, a problem with the book which means that I can't give the wholehearted recommendation which I would love to give.
Amy Nielsen was raised in the Philippines and now lives in Denmark with her husband. English (of any version) is not her native language and whilst her mastery of it is commendable it's not faultless. Words are occasionally misused (deceases when I suspect that she meant 'diseases' and rather more confusingly lust when I think that it should have been 'luster'), tenses are occasionally mixed within sentences (Do the Fairy King and Queen knew about it?) and there are other minor grammatical problems. An adult might be forgiving but children would not and should not be. It's particularly annoying because the error could so easily have been eliminated with some independent proof-reading - and I would have been giving this book four or even four and a half stars.
I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy of the book to Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Victor and the Sun Orb by Amy Nielsen at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Victor and the Sun Orb by Amy Nielsen at Amazon.com.
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