Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt by Ilana Waters

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt is a middle grade fantasy novel written by Ilana Waters.

Summary: Ten-year-old Stanley Delacourt loves his quiet life in the peaceful village of Meadowwood. At least, he does until his best friend is killed. Then the town library—where Stanley lives and works—is burned to the ground. The individuals responsible for both tragedies are a nasty group of soldiers. They work for the kingdom's new leader, Christopher Siren. With the grown-ups too fearful to take action, Stanley vows to confront Siren. He plans to get answers and demand justice. Little does he know that his journey will involve sword-wielding knights, kidnapper fairies, and dark magic. 

Stanley has only two allies back home: a witch named Meredith, and a young apothecary called Sophie. Can they help him discover the reason behind Siren's crimes and end this terrible reign? Or is Stanley set to become the next victim in the tyrant's evil plot?

My thoughts: I used to look at books like Artemis Fowl and you know, Percy Jackson and imagine how much I would have loved reading them in my ‘middle grade’ years. I relived those years, so to say, when I read almost all of Diana Wynne Jones's books in a week. This is another of the books that I am sure I would have loved a whole bunch of years ago. Now, it took me a little time to get past the way it was written. It sounded childish, which I know was intentional, but it was something I am not used to reading. Being a child at heart (the kind who still enjoys reading Enid Blyton's short stories), though, it didn't take long for me to be hooked on the book.

The author has created a world with intricate detail and what was surely a lot of research, but what I like the most is that she has managed to avoid the one thing that spoils fantasy series more than anything else: information overload. We get to know just enough at just the right time to enjoy the book, while still being curious enough about the new world to read the sequel. The characters are kind of typical in place, but I like the contrasts in the characters. I especially like all the female characters in the books. The word that describes the writing style best is: fun! I could tell the author enjoyed herself thoroughly writing the book, with its poetic flow and the actual comical poetry written in it. It was an honest effort and the style as well as the magic in the book kept reminding me over and over of Diana Wynne Jones's books. I was almost entirely sure the writer had used her as an inspiration. It wasn't the perfect book I've read: I mean, there were thing clearly inspired, arguably borrowed from other books, it wasn't the most original or unique and it wasn't written quite as impeccably as I would have liked, but it is a great book nonetheless.

For those of you, who are used to reading middle grade novels (i.e. if you are actually that age or you've never quite grown up in your head, like me) this would be quite an enjoyable book and I would certainly recommend you to try it. Grab your copy right here! To know more about the author, check out this nice little interview.


Ilana Waters said...

Thank you, Priya, for your lovely review! I'm so glad you liked the book. :-)

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