Hello everyone! Today I have the pleasure of taking part in the book tour for a wonderful MG fantasy entitled Defender of The Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler. This is the book I would have loved to read as a kid. I loved The Princess Diaries, but I also loved superheroes, and this book was a fantastic amalgamation of the two. I received a copy of the book from Scholastic for the blog tour, but this in no way affects my opinion and the following review:
Super-villains. Hungry monsters. One kid to stop them all. Meet King Alfie: fourteen-year-old British monarch and Defender of the Realm. Alfie never expected to become king so young. He definitely didn’t expect to become a legendary superhero: the Defender. Which means fighting an ancient secret battle against mega-villains and evil monsters. All while grappling with adoring crowds, paparazzi and minders. Now the terrible Black Dragon is rising. Only Alfie can stop him. Think being a king is just about wearing a crown? Wrong.
Information about the Book
Title: Defender of the Realm (Defender of the Realm #1)
Authors: Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler
Release Date: 3rd March 2016
Genre: MG Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Format: Paperback and E-book
I think what I loved most about Defender of the Realm was the setting. Rather than taking place in a created-world, we were given a story that takes place now, in our time and with all our modern technology. That's not to say that I don't love created-worlds (Who doesn't love a good map?!) but it was both interesting and comical to see the tech-whizz Hayley against good natured but stuffy LC (Lord Chamberlain) and The Tower. It's also always great to read a fantasy that you can relate to; one that could easily be taking place outside your window. What I loved the most however was how The Crown Jewels were The Defender's weaponry - how the fantasy elements were based in reality and history - and most of all Wyvern, The Defender's spectral horse.
The whole story was a joy to read; fun, comical and packed with action.
The characters were well-written and enjoyable to follow through the story. I highly enjoyed Alfie's arc, watching him go through the motions of being a teen and grieving whilst also dealing with becoming both King and Defender. It was great to see him grow and learn, and I'm interested to see where the character is come book two. Hayley was fabulous with her stubborn, 'take no prisoners' attitude, especially in her reaction to the fantasy elements, and it's always great to read about a strong, female POC.
I warn you though, the last few pages will lure you into a sense of false security. There is a cliffhanger, and it made my jaw drop. I may be 23 but I am already anxiously awaiting the sequel!
Overall I give Defender of the Realm a well deserved 5 stars! Regardless of age it's a book every fantasy lover should read!
Thanks for coming by on my stop and I hope you enjoyed the review! Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour!
Monday 29th February
Tuesday 1st March
Wednesday 2nd March
Thursday 3rd March
Friday 4th March
Saturday 5th March
Sunday 6th March
Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Defender-Realm-Nick-Ostler/dp/1407164236
Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler are Emmy and BAFTA-nominated screenwriters best known for writing popular TV shows such as Danger Mouse and Thunderbirds Are Go!
Mark’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/huckywucky
Nick’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/nickostler