The same team who introduced the Enchanted Realm in Diary of a Mad Brownie (2015; now retitled Cursed) presents a second go-round for the delectation of middle-grade fantasy readers.
Gerald Overflight, a griffin, has run away from home, driven by his siblings’ constant bullying and, the final blow, his father’s true feelings about him. He flies off, accompanied by his teacher, the tricky Master Abelard, who has his own reasons for breaking a boatload of the Realm’s rules. Readers will delight in the tribulations endured by this sensitive griffin, his new friend, the human Bradley Ashango, and the assortment of creatures who, willy-nilly, are sucked into the matrix of their activities. The strength of this story is in showing Gerald’s and Brad’s parallel growth, a slow process that solidly underpins the hilarious (occasionally slapstick) story. Readers learn what’s going on through the dark-skinned Brad’s journal, Gerald’s diary, Master Abelard’s notebook, newspaper articles, and various documents that shed light on both cultures, human and mythic. Most of the satire provides blameless amusement with the exception of a few cheap shots at political correctness in a list of “Forbidden Topics at the University Enchantica.”
Middle-grade readers will be carried along by the buoyancy of the writing, the skillful design, and the humor on almost every page. Egg-ceptionally funny! (Fantasy. 8-11)