Review by The Mole
When Simon's sister, Anna, starts to tease too much, Simon loses his temper and, to frighten her, recites a nursery rhyme that invites the Broken King to take her away. The poem doesn't bother Anna but terrifies Simon when Anna is taken away in front of his very eyes. The next day, before his parents waken, he finds that she really has gone and flees the house looking for her. Meeting a winged deer he learns he must go to the Broken Kingdom to get her back. On the way he meets Flora who did exactly the same to her elder brother, Johnny, and is starting a similar quest. On their journey they meet people who can't exist, go to places that are impossible, solve insoluble riddles and encounter terrifying enemies.
This is the first in a series entitled "The Darkening Path" and it really is a great start to the trilogy. While we know Simon and Flora are the "good" guys they learn to doubt everyone they meet along the way - even the ones that give them real positive assistance and this keeps the reader looking at every nuance of the story for some sign that may lead to betrayal. With the reader so heavily engaged the book flies by and then... Well it's a trilogy as I say and they must wait for book 2!
Plenty of horror, plenty of monsters, lots of action - everything the young fantasy reader will love. Described as for the 11+ reader it will be enjoyed by any competent reader as our two young protagonists set out on a quest of atonement to try to retrieve their siblings.
Publisher - Troika Books
Genre - Children's fantasy, 11+