The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain by Oldman Brook
|The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain by Oldman Brook|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A great, 'big screen' story of wizards and battles and all things gory. Oldman Brook popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 434||Date: July 2012|
Greybeard is the wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain and when we first meet him he's expecting guests at his home. The first to arrive are three dwarfs, Wattlespalf, Gendralf and Igralf and whilst they might not be the most becoming of creatures they have expertise with some unusual weaponry. Not long afterwards they're followed by Forrester and Stryker. The two young men arrive in human form but the reality, as we'll find out, is that they're shape-shifters. The six thought that the gathering was complete but they're joined by two elves as a result of a dramatic rescue mission. That the two boys survived the snows which surround the wizard's house is surprising enough, but elves have been extinct for thousands of years and Finn and his younger brother Beezle arrive through an accident in time.
This isn't a social gathering. Greybeard knows that there's a threat to the land of Everlast and he believes that it's imperative that an army is formed to counter the danger of a being known as Warrior. He's planning to call in favours, persuade the reluctant and marshal them all into a fighting force. He begins with the six original members plus the two elves and collects his first 'recruit' - albeit a reluctant one. Connor Perrywinkle will be the scribe who records what happens.
Meanwhile, Warrior's army is growing. He's not strong on mercy and some of his recruits enjoy the gore-fest just a little bit too much. You might like to bear this in mind if you are considering the book for a sensitive child. There are scenes of horror which could persuade most children of the virtues of not eating and reading at the same time! You also run the risk of parts of the story being recounted to you at inopportune moments by those who love it!
What a story this is! It's no exaggeration to say that whilst you're reading it you see it up on the big screen. The first part was perhaps a little slow for my tastes and would be slower for the target age group of the older tween and early teen boy. More showing rather than telling would have given this part more impact but that's actually quite a minor quibble once you get to the battles. At this point the story flies by and there were occasions when I felt as though I was being pulled along by the hair on my head. It's a good story overall, but splendid stuff once you get to the second half of the book.
The characters are impressive. There are women in the story but it's the men who hog the limelight. The very different characters of the two elves are written with sensitivity and the leaders of the two armies - Greybeard and Warrior - have strengths as well as weaknesses. My favourite was Pengwellen, the elderly dragon, who brought tears to my eyes at one point. Considering that this is a big story there are not too many characters and most of them come off the page really well.
It's a book which will be shelved in the 'great fun' section and will stand repeated readings. You might find it shelved near The Hidden World: The Remarkable Adventures of Tom Scatterhorn by Henry Chancellor or Jack Flint and the Redthorn Sword by Joe Donnelly but we think that The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain will be read the most.
Oldman Brook was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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