When Wolfhaven Castle is attacked by a horde of terrifying creatures, it is up to four improbable heroes to find a way to save everyone within before it is too late.
While out foraging, Tom, the castle pot boy, is accosted by “the wild man of the woods,” who warns him of a danger advancing on the castle. However, his efforts to warn Lord Wolfgang are in vain. When the bog-men attack, only he and three others are able to escape: Lady Elanor, the lord’s daughter; Quinn, the witch’s apprentice; and Sebastian, a young squire. The castle witch instructs them to awaken the four sleeping heroes of legend and free the castle. But other than a mysterious riddle and four magical gifts, the witch has little to offer them to help on their quest. The fast-moving plot is filled with clever details and magical intrigue. Even when the not-so-surprising villain is finally revealed, this series opener maintains its charm. However, the characters are what set it apart. Though Forsyth makes no attempt to bring diversity to her standard-issue, medieval England–ish world, she develops her characters with aplomb. Chapters shift, highlighting the pot scrubber, the lady, the apprentice, and then the squire, bringing them to life and creating an adventure that is more than just an exciting story. Sequels Wolves of Witchwood, The Beast of Blackmoor Bog, The Drowned Kingdom, and Battle of the Heroes publish simultaneously.
Well-crafted heroic fantasy for readers just stepping into the genre. (Fiction. 9-12)