Wright’s debut installment in The Adventures of TOBY BAXTER series is a good, solid fantasy fun with its atmospheric setting, fast-paced narrative, and a lovable young protagonist readers will root for. Toby Baxter has just turned thirteen and is proud to be entering the thrilling adolescent phase. But when a sudden portal appears, leading Toby on an exhilarating trip to a magical land, Toby finds himself in the middle of a violent face-off between elves and a legion of devious trolls. With his new friends depending on him to lead them to victory, Toby must take on a dangerous quest to retrieve a legendary sword and turn the table on the enemy forces. Entertaining and well-paced, the story contains a harrowing journey into the unknown, a thrilling quest, and the protagonist’s brilliant face-off with powerful beasts. The pacing is smooth, and the setting is well-realized. The likable hero is courageous and believably flawed, and he is joined by an emotionally credible set of intriguing characters. The cliffhanger ending will leave readers clamoring for the next installment. Relevant themes of finding one’s place in the world and what it means to be really courageous are meticulously woven into the engrossing narrative. A deliciously readable middle-grade fantasy.
Categories: middle grade