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*An Unexpected Apprentice* by Jody Lynn Nye - young adult book review
An Unexpected Apprentice
by Jody Lynn Nye
Ages 12+ 400 pages Tor June 2007 Hardcover    

An Unexpected Apprentice is undoubtedly great. Filled with all of the wonderfully, imaginative elements that make up a first-class fantasy, these pages are a rollicking ride into another type of reality.

Halfling Tildi Summerbee may be small, but she can’t be pushed around. When her parents and brothers were carried off after a Thraik invasion, the town leaders didn’t think Tildi was capable of running the family farm. They selected a husband for her and set a date for the wedding. Tildi decided to make her own plans, which included chopping off her hair, assuming her older brother’s identity, and accepting his apprenticeship with a great wizard. What follows is pure magic.

Fantasy lovers will enjoy the rich plot, layered with snippets of the town’s history and a kaleidoscope of colorful characters. The atmosphere is charged with an aura of the unusual, as readers step into a world with unique attributes. Tildi’s flight into freedom is a rousing adventure as she picks up the mantle of her brother and enters the wonderful world of wizardry. Her stumbling success and growing confidence make her an endearing personality, while her feistiness and decidedly feminist views bring new meaning to the idea of ‘girl power.’

Our heroine quickly volunteers for a dangerous assignment, ignoring her halfling status and concentrating instead on the greater good she could accomplish for her world. Accompanying a group of seasoned wizards and warriors, Tildi fights against foes larger than herself in both stature and skill. The magical themes are explained and smoothly incorporated into the plot, lending an air of authenticity to the tale and providing many surprising twists.

An Unexpected Apprentice will live up to fantasy lovers’ expectations.

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