A Charming Tale (3.5 stars)
The children’s novel ‘Hildof and the Seven Given Souls (Book 1)’ was a charming tale of magic, a lost prince and friendship, along with the obligatory tale of good versus evil. In the beginning of the novel, the reader is thrown into the world of Calibar, a fantasy world filled with magic and mythical creatures. The story starts very quickly and it felt, at times, like the novel was throwing back story at the reader so quickly that it was hard to keep up.
Once we reach the village of Hildof, the story slows down, and we are able to get to know the seven children who remain the focus of the rest of the tale. The characters are interesting and diverse, and the interactions between them have some lovely moments.
There were some errors in grammar and punctuation which, at times, pulled me from the story (sorry, I’m an English teacher – I can’t help myself). More careful editing would be beneficial.
The other area that I found disjointed was the dialogue. The voices of the characters didn’t always feel real, and there were a number of modern references and language structures that felt out of place with the rest of the writing style.
Overall, this is a nice children’s story with an imaginative treatment. It teaches a strong moral message – that peace and family are worth fighting for. With some more careful editing, this would be a really fabulous novel that I’m sure children would enjoy.