‘Defender of the Realm’ by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler is one of those books that I would probably haven’t read if it wasn’t for the fact that I am a book blogger and that would have been a huge loss. The stunning cover by Tom Percival immediately made me want to read it, it perfectly captures the excitement and adventure of what lies inside. I absolutely loved this book it was such a thrilling read that I really struggled to put it down, promising myself each time “just one more chapter.” For me the mark of a fantastic books is when I read it and instantly think of the children who will just love this story and inspire them on their reading journey. I have already assembled my future readers and am thrilled to be able to introduce them to this fantastic book.
When the current King Henry the Ninth dies unexpectedly early, 14 year old Prince Alfie heir to the throne finds himself suddenly thrust into the role of King. Only the heir because he was born 10 seconds before his younger brother Richard, Alfie is widely regarded to be unsuitable always finding himself caught up in mishaps. He is surrounded by taunts from the media constantly reminding him that fate has mistakenly chosen the weaker, less worthy twin. Struggling to come to terms with his new role as King he finds that there is more to his duties than meets the eye. A centuries old secret is revealed to him that he must be the new Defender of the Realm and be prepared to defend his shores against monstrous enemies lurking within. Time is of the essence as the country faces it’s biggest threat in years from the Black Lizard who will stop at nothing to overthrow Alfie and enslave the people. Can he defeat his enemy and prove to his doubters that he is a worthy successor to the throne and Defender of the nation?
This books is full of glorious details that I found myself totally absorbed in the plot. I really enjoyed the mix of real life and fantasy for me this made the story more real and compelling. It enhanced the drama that was unfolding and made you feel increasingly tense as you raced towards its climax. The storytelling is superb and has such a rich quality that I could visualise the story unfolding before my eyes it was like a cinematic treat. By introducing the character of Hayley it provides a dramatic contrast to the privileges of Alfie and his life but you can see two children who have been forced into taking responsibilities beyond their years purely by accident of birth than by choice. Hayley is a worthy hero alongside Alfie, brilliantly clever she is able to think beyond the confines of tradition and help him accept his destiny. Fast, frenetic and furious this book demands to be read,
I highly recommend this book thrilling and adventurous it was an absolute joy to read.
To find out more about ‘Defender of the Realm’ you can visit:
Where you can read the first two chapters of the book, play games, enter competitions, ask Mark and Nick questions and more!
You can read my guest post from Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler here.
A big thank you to Faye and Scholastic for asking me to be part of the blog tour and sending my a copy of the book to review.