A MOM MONDAY REVIEW
GoodReads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble ~
Author: Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos
Publication Date: 3 October 2017
Series: The Adventurers Guild, book 1
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Age Recommendation: 8 and Up
Rating: 5 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~
In one of the last cities standing after the world fell to monsters, best friends Zed Kagari and Brock Dunderfel have high hopes for the future. Zed desperately wishes to join the ranks of the Mages Guild, where his status as Freestone's only half elf might finally be an asset. Brock, the roguishly handsome son of merchants, is confident he'll be welcomed into the ranks of the Merchants Guild.
But just as it seems the boys' dreams have come true, their lives take a startling turn . . . and they find themselves members of the perilous Adventurers Guild.
Led by the fearsome Alabasel Frond, the guild acts as the last line of defense against the Dangers-hungry, unnatural beasts from otherworldly planes. And when the boys uncover a conspiracy that threatens all of Freestone, Zed, Brock, and their new allies-Liza, a fierce noble, and Jett, a brave dwarf-must prove their worth once and for all.
This start of a thrilling new series is sure to be a hit with readers who like their fantasies clever and action-packed, with tons of humor and heart.
I lost myself in this book, yes a middle grade fantasy completely consumed me for the 3 hours it took me to read it. I could not put it down and seriously contemplated calling my girls in from playing with the neighbors so I could read it out loud to them. When I was done I jumped form my favorite reading chair, shook the book at them and told them both that they had to read it!
There is so much going on in The Adventurers Guild, monsters, magic, intrigue, suspense, friendship, family, a possible light romance, betrayal, amazing world building....it's all there and though it may sound jam packed it flows beautifully together to tell an amazing story of friendship and courage.
The Dangers (monsters) gave me all the chills, in fact they reminded my quite a bit of something you may see in a Studio Ghibli film, particularly Spirited Away with No Face. While they can be pretty darn creepy don't let that turn you or your more 'monster sensitive' readers away, there's so much goodness that it out weighs the little bits of scary or the intensity.
The world building, you 'guys' the world building is fantastic. I never felt bogged down in the details, never felt lost in the twists and turns. A picture of the city of Freestone was clear in my mind, the city, the people...they all came alive in my head as I read.
The characters, Oh how I loved these characters. I loved that each one of them is fighting against societies rules of who they are supposed to be, I love that we have a mix of friendships with what would be lower, middle, and upper class, boys and girls. I love that Liza is willing to go against the patriarchy and make her own dreams come true. I love that Brock for all his faults truly cares about his friends and is discovering that things are not always what they seem. That he is finding he needs to take a look at the bigger picture and make his own decisions. I am still not sure where his story will lead him but I have faith he will find his way. Micah, now he's an interesting character as far as development and I hope the little glimpse we get of him at the end is an indicator of who he might become. Zed, he is my favorite. A boy not given many chances in life but the bravest and kindest of them all. He is not as witty and open as Brock, not as determined or fierce as Liza but he is the heart of the story and a true hero. Lastly I have to mention Guildmaster Frond, I love her, she is this strange combination of crude, loyal, independent, fierce, and soft. I can understand the loyalty that is given to her and also the fear that people have of her. She is an 'unknown' in a way, she's a interesting cross of Mad-Eye Moody, Snape, and Dumbledore and I can't wait to read more about her.
There is really so much to love about this book, not least of which is the fact that it is plain and simple a read that will take you to a new world and will give you new friends. I am not done with these characters or this world and I am so glad that the authors aren't either. The Adventurers Guild ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I am left with a deep yearning to know what happens next, so hurry up guys, I need the next book yesterday, haha!
This is the perfect read for any Fantasy fan no matter your age! If you loved The Golden Compass, Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings you will adore The Adventurers Guild as well!
~ HAPPY READING ~
ZACK LORAN CLARK and NICK ELIOPULOS grew up in Florida and now live in New York. Best friends, they get together to play Dungeons & Dragons every week. Zack fervently hopes that magic is real; Nick desperately hopes that monsters are not. The Adventurers Guild is their first novel.
Zack Loran Clark