Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

The Dragon's Tooth

I enjoyed N.D. Wilson's first foray into fantasy fiction with the "100 Cupboards" series, but it seemed like he was still getting his bearings in those books. The first of the series, 100 Cupboards, was a bit slow and draggy, the second, Dandelion Fire, had so many tangled plot-lines that it was nearly impossible to follow. It was only in the third book, The Chestnut King, that he fully found his voice, and it was great.

The Dragon's Tooth, the first book in Wilson's "Ashtown Burials" series, is better than his three previous fantasy books combined. It was fun, smart, and way more intense than I expected. The plot never feels contrived, but still keeps the reader in suspense at every step. References to history, mythology, cryptozoology, secret societies and classic literature abound! I'm definitely going to look for the next book in the series now.

As a note, it's probably a little too violent and disturbing for the under-10 crowd.


Erica said…
This is on my ridiculously long reading list.

Also, on a similar note, I noticed Jerry Jenkins is trying his hand at children's fantasy literature. (That isn't Left Behind). I've yet to check it out since I'm not sure if LB's atrocious writing was Jenkins or LaHaye's fault...