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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Luke Carter and the Sword of Kings* by A.J. Ensor- young readers book review
Luke Carter and the Sword of Kings
by A.J. Ensor
Ages 9-12 440 pages WinDruid Publishing October 2004 Hardcover    

Luke Carter and the Sword of Kings in a fairly long book at 434 pages, well-designed with a strong, elegant hardcover itself decorated with a protective slipcover. The illustrations on the slipcover are captivating; I found myself looking at the images periodically, recognizing some other aspect of the story each time.

A.J. Ensor's novel is reportedly the “First Lord of the Realm” book. Initially I thought it might be another Harry Potter spin-off; this is not so. There are elements of that series, such as swords, dimensions and magic, but those elements are common in fantasy adventures for young adults and middle school-aged readers. The book also uses elements of Merlin and Arthurian legends and classic children’s tales including The Sword in the Stone.

Luke Carter and the Sword of Kings uses wonderful technology and fantasy, including magic mirrors that can transport characters from one area to another. The pages are filled with warlocks and witches, sorceresses, leprechauns and more.

Oblivious to his true origins, Luke is happily spending his days in a small remote village in Florida with his Uncle Harry and Aunt Claire when he is kidnapped by two leprechauns sent by his older sister (of whom Luke knows nothing), and a series of adventures begin for the boy. He discovers that his Uncle Harry went missing in action during a battle at the Citadel University when Luke was just two years old. At that time, it was decided that the boy must be hidden until the time was right to reveal his existence. Unfortunately, his stubborn uncle has refused to allow Luke to fully develop, much to the frustration of those in the other realm, and Luke has a lot of catching up to do. He must learn all about the realm, its customs and its people; he must also learn about his powers and family history and find the courage to defeat a great threat to all.

The author sometimes skips over important areas; some of the conversations and even the introduction of Harry’s portrait are not well explained. The language used is apparently some kind of ancient Celtic or Irish, but there is very little in the way of translation. It would have been nice to see an appendix for this.

I truly enjoyed the communications between characters - I could almost hear the Irish lilt in their speech. Aunt Claire is particularly amusing at times, and there is a very emotional reunion scene with Luke’s sister. Over and over, the reader will see the world through the child’s view and experience his frustration when no one explains things and secrets are revealed, and at the sudden stops in conversations.

(I did not find any comments on the website for the author or publisher, nor did I find any information on the book itself regarding the recycling content of the book.)

Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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