Book Review: The Taming by Atticus Krum

tamingcoverJPGLargeTitle: The Taming

Author: Atticus Krum

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Age Group: Middle Grade

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

When a mysterious Creature appears just beyond the Hollow bearing a shiny object, it is urgent news for those living within the Refuge, especially the Council of the Glade. However, for a young shrew named Thutter, and his three friends, it becomes the occasion for an ill-advised adventure. To leave the Glade is to break the ancient Code and to surrender the protection of the unseen Elders, Rulers of the Refuge.

All the same, the four critters begin their quest with a common goal: to see a real, live Solkreat up close. As they near the strange, two-legged Animal, however, one of the travelers reveals an altogether different agenda. He wants the magic hogseye, the “hero-maker” which dangles from one of the Creature’s necks. According to legend, young Thutter is the only one who can steal it for him.

But Thutter’s companion isn’t the only one coveting the enchanted object. The Beastmonger, a powerful and wicked slitherer, will stop at nothing to get it, even murder. Fortunately, the Elders know this, and they too have a plan for young Thutter.

At the heart of this plan, however, is Thutter’s confidence in Them. The shrew must first believe in the Elders Three, for only then will he listen for Their Voice. Otherwise, in the face of great betrayal and tragic death, the tiny, young adventurer will lose all hope. He will fail to protect his family and the Glade from grave danger. More so, he will fail to discover his all-important role in the ancient conflict between Light and Darkness.

With a main character named Thutter McClutter, you know you’re up for some hilarious scenes. The Taming is a middle grade fantasy that will appeal to older audiences as well, and reminded me of classics like Narnia, The Neverending Story, and even the Wizard of Oz. It may not be as spectacular, but it certainly holds the same magical formula of humor, kids, and fantasy.

A mysterious creature appears just beyond the Hollow, and it brings along an enchanted object. The Council of the Glade is worried about the creature, but Thutter and three of his friends see it as an excellent opportunity for some good, old-fashioned adventure. But leaving the Glade is dangerous – it breaks the ancient Code and leaves the four friends unprotected. With a powerful slitherer called The Beastmonger trying to stop Thutter and his friends, adventure is never far off.

The Taming balanced solid writing and a fast pace, and mixed it together into a pleasant read. My main pet peeve would be the large role for the Elders Three, and how important Thutter’s believe in them is. All heroes must believe in something, and I didn’t mind the idea of Thutter believing in Them, I just felt like it was stressed too often, and sometimes distracted from the main story.

Apart from that, this book was an excellent read. Definitely for middle graders and older though – the writing is too complicated for a younger audience. Middle graders who struggle with reading may get challenged as well, but they’ll probably succeed with a little help. For a middle grader who loves reading, this book is ideal though.

Speak Your Mind