Review Blog

Oct 19 2015

Battle of the Heroes by Kate Forsyth

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The Impossible Quest bk 5. Scholastic, 2015. ISBN 9781743624104
(Age: 9-12) Highly recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Magical Creatures, Good and Evil, Sorcery, Quests, Adventures. Kate Forsyth's impressive conclusion to her magical fantasy series Battle of the Heroes pits the four young heroes and their magical creatures against the most frightening of creatures in Wolfhaven Castle. Quinn, Sebastian, Elanor and Tom have escaped the evil witch sisters' clutches by ingenious trickery and begin preparations for a dangerous sea voyage to return to their former home, free the imprisoned lord and his people and fulfill the ancient prophecy. They have gathered the magical elements, a griffin's feather, unicorn's horn, sea-serpent's scale and dragon's tooth and are ready to wake the four sleeping warriors hidden beneath the castle. Sabre the sea-serpent aids the travellers pulling their wooden coracles across the dark treacherous lake.
Each step of their journey is fraught with danger - fighting the spear-wielding bog-men, escaping from the Mistress Mauldred's attacking ravens, relying on their magical creatures for rescue - Tom's griffin helps with Jack's escape. The young adventurers draw on their skills and knowledge to race into the underground tunnels constantly being chased by their enemies. Together they discover the hidden bone key in the Great Room and the secret passage that leads to the sleeping warriors' chamber.
The final battle scenes are heightened drama, fighting a skeleton army riding skeleton horses, fierce giant rats, swash-buckling sword fights and overcoming the witches evil acts that nearly foil the prophecy's fulfillment.
Kate Forsyth's rich imagery, feisty characters, lyrical language, fast-paced action and engaging magic and fantasy elements, make the The Impossible Quest series appealing to both younger readers and adult fans of this genre.
Rhyllis Bignell

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