Storyline: I already used my eye pun on the review before this one… So, how about: Daniel Arenson is a true “Word Wizard”. And his book, “The Eye of the Wizard”, only helps to prove that my choice in nickname is both wholly accurate and clever.
Normally, I only reserve the monikers “Word Wizard” or “Word Warrior” (I like to fancy that this one is particularly clever and applies only to me) for those I hold in the highest esteem; so I don’t get to use them very often, but Daniel is quite talented and deserves the accolades that come along with such a wonderful title.
Outcasts. Exiles. Cast offs. Losers.
Meet the Thistle children: Scruff, Neev and Jaime. Their parents were murdered by an evil wizard who is hell-bent on destroying the whole family because of a burning hatred. (Oh, THAT’S a pun of the most terrible kind. You won’t get until you read the book. So, go read it now.)
Scruff and Jaime are kicked out of knight school because he’s too clumsy and she’s too…well…a girl. Neev, on the other hand, is flunked out of the Coven because he summons a less than scary demon for his last test… Romy is known more for her teddy bears and thumb sucking than her pitchfork and torturing. Cobweb is a beautiful Spiderling, who is rejected by her elders because a tragic speech impediment.
They all come together to form a motley crew of heroes and heroines: Bullies for Bucks. Can they pull it together to fight off the evil warlock that is hunting them? Will they ever have enough food for Scruff? And can Romy ever stop complaining about everything?!
Grammar/Spelling: I noticed some minor grammatical problems – homophones – that spell check wouldn’t catch. So, I’d recommend another beta reading.
Character Development: Oh my god! I loved these guys! Each one is a great stand alone character – but putting them together is just brilliant!
Oddly enough (or maybe that’s the way he wants it to be so that you’re compelled to like everyone the same amount! SORCERY! WORD WIZARDRY!), I can’t choose just one character I liked over the rest.
Scruff was adorable in his lumbering sweetness and Cobweb was as beautiful as she was kind. Sometimes I wanted to smack Romy myself and remind her that she was 207 years old and a demon for crissakes!
As for Neev, in my mind I pictured the son from American Dad – only not as nerdy. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, get yourself to The Google! It’ll help with the imagery.
Writing Style: Daniel’s style is fun and very easy to read – I read this all in one sitting. (So, I guess I can thank him for the eye twitches later…?) I loved his take on the fantasy genere. Grobblers, Spiderlings and an evil vulture named Vanderbeak. It doesn’t get more imaginative than that.
Continuity: No issues with continuity.
Overall Rating: 5
The Eye of the Wizard by Daniel Arenson is a wonderful fantasy adventure story! I really hope that Pixar finds this gem and makes it into the next big movie.
I honestly loved this book and when my son is a tad older (he’s six), I’m going to read it with him. I think this is a fantastic story that’s appropriate for almost all ages.
Thanks for sharing it with me, Daniel!