Bluewood Publishing Ltd, June 2012
Also available in trade paperback
Ragonnard is an ambitious and competent sorcerer who has spent many years searching for a long lost amulet. The amulet is reputed to amplify the magic of the wearer. Trouble is, it’s still with its original owner and he’s not willing to give it up so easily. Aided by a merry band of thieves, imps, illusionists and brooms, Ragonnard aims to put right his mistakes and save the world in its past, present and future.
I have to admit that I quite liked this book. It’s a light-hearted fantasy romp complete with sorcerers, mischievous imps and silly kings a-plenty. The writing is good, not overly complex and as with some fantasy titles, it does not get bogged down in detail. This helps keep the book from becoming too serious and it’s clear that the authors have enjoyed poking fun at the characters and maybe even the genre itself. There are many humorous bits with some clever word play for those quick enough to spot them. And when the gargoyles come to life, you can revel in their funny philosophical debating.
The characters in the book are all likeable while the villain is suitably maniacal with an ego to match. My favourite character has got to be the crazy imp Velasco who seems to cause more trouble than he’s worth. Overall, character development was a bit thin but what has been detailed was enough to make you want to know more about the story and its eventual conclusion.
This is certainly a fantasy title that would be good for younger readers. Being quite different from the Harry Potter series, I feel that Growing Disenchantments is more typical of the traditional fantasy genre and therefore a good starting point for young readers new to the whole fantasy realm. I’d certainly be interested in reading more should the authors choose to continue this as a series. This is one to recommend, even for older readers looking for something light-hearted and fun to help pass an afternoon and I would regard it as a stepping stone towards something like the Discworld series.
Reviewed by Laura McLaughlin, December 2012.