By Cassandra Bellingham
This is a coming of age story where a teenager who feels he doesn’t belong in the world discovers his true identity, breaks away from his parents and forges a place in the world.
I don’t normally read childrens’ books as I’m not a child and I don’t have any of my own. Having said that I did read one of the Harry Potter’s (until the films started coming out). However, I had just finished reading The Hobbit in preparation for the film and so I decided to try The Prophecy of Kinnaird.
Interestingly I felt this was very similar to The Hobbit in style as I started to read it but as the story got going I found that there was more to it than The Hobbit. Whereas The Hobbit has a very straight plot The Prophecy of Kinnaird is quite a lot more complex, as such it’s a more sophisticated book. The movements of the characters place them in situations that gives rise to quite a lot of dramatic irony which is handled quite well by the author. This all gives the reader quite a lot of involvement with the characters and does a very good job of keeping the resolution hidden until close to the end. Furthermore I found that, towards the end when some of that irony is played out, I had to stop reading as my emotional involvement was all too apparent in the public place where I was sitting as I read it.
I thought the fantasy world was quite well handled, sufficiently fantastic to be unreal but with just a hint of magic in the background that meant that they weren’t casting spells left right and centre. (Too much magic can lead to the Rupert Bear situation where the characters are never really in peril as they simply have to click their heels together to escape the danger and be home in time for tea.) The other interesting feature was that the only non human race were the guppies (not fish people) introduced in chapter one and they were only slightly different to humans so no elves, dwarves or goblins dropping out of the woods left right and centre.
So a good read, well pitched for the childrens’ and YA market. At times it had me wishing I could carry on with it as I genuinely wanted to know what happened next. It’s not my usual thing but on the whole it’s a good book and I’d recommend it to anybody into fantasy or YA stories.
I give it four out of five stars