My 15 year old high schooler is in the middle of writing his own fantasy book, so when I heard that we would be given the chance to read The Hamelin Stoop Series by 12 Gates Publishing, I thought that it would a great opportunity for him to read them.
We were given the first two books in the (possible) 6-7 book series. The first book is called "The Eagle, The Cave, and the Footbridge". The second book is called "The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna".
I wanted our 15 year old to contribute heavily to this review. He is going to answer a few questions about the books, so that you will have a good idea about them and if they are a good fit for your family.
The author seemed very knowledgable about the time period in which these books took place, the 1950's. He talked about a children's home and the milk man.
My first opinion of the books were not very good. The first book, "The Eagle, The Cave, and the Footbridge", started out very slow and it was difficult to get into the book. There were a lot of details about every day life. Then, I realized that they were taking the perspective of "What if the hero didn't do the really hard thing and succeed?" The character, Hamelin Stoop, was 8 years old when he had to cross the giant footbridge in order to get to the other dimension or plain of existence. It would be difficult for an 8 year old to cross this big footbridge that was falling apart. Every day life continued for him until he was older. He was told not come back again until he was called. His dreams were shattered. He was finally called and he was able to cross the footbridge.
Then in the second book, "The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna", he almost died by crossing through the waters of life and death the wrong way. He saw many creatures that tried to kill him. On the way to the hospitable woman, he first meets Lars in the Forest of Fears. He is trying to find a magic crystal that will keep everyone alive in their underground city. They meet Eraina, who is a princess from a different kingdom. She is trying to find her sister so that they, and their father, can become the ultimate rulers of everything. After fighting off some wolves and being tired from everything, they finally got to the hospitable woman. After letting them stay for the night, she gave them each a gift. Lars received special shoes that would give him speed and balance. Eraina received a scarf that, if tightened around her face, would let her see farther. Hamelin received a sword that can only be unsed once, but would kill anything in its path.
My expectations of these books were skewed. This caused me to view the books in a way that was different from how they were written. Once I fixed my expectations, the books were more enjoyable. I feel like these books are well suited for about 8-12 year olds. The chapters are short and they would be able to identify with the characters.
I am glad that our high schooler was able to read The Hamelin Stoop Series by 12 Gates Publishing. It gave him the opportunity to see another way to write fantasy books. I think that our younger son will like these books. I'm looking forward to see what the other books in the series will be.
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