The magical adventures of a young boy trying to save the world.
Smith’s debut fantasy novel, the first in a series, sets up an epic, archetypal quest. Peter Jamieson, the unsuspecting hero who’s just moved from England to America, is anxious about adjusting to a new school and finding friends. His life takes a most unusual turn via his grandfather, the mysterious and magical Martin, who comes to live with Peter and his family. In Martin’s room, Peter discovers a trunk filled with a jumble of odds and ends, including a gold object that Peter can’t resist touching. After a small explosion, everything goes black. Peter’s quest, unbeknownst to him, has begun. That night, Peter dreams a vivid dream of hounds, hunters and falling stars and awakes to find his grandfather casting a spell. But his grandfather soon moves away, leaving Peter a coin and insisting that he guard it well. Five years pass, and Peter, now 14, finds that his dreams are not only getting stranger, but they’re beginning to seep into his real life. A talking mouse named Parsnip follows him from his dreams into reality, informing Peter that he’s the link between two worlds; Peter has a dangerous but important mission: stop the jibbles, those destructive creatures, from hurting helpless people. Peter also discovers that several adults in the world around him hold secrets related to his mission. By remaining brave and alert, he nonetheless hopes to rise to his quest and keep the world safe. Rich with imagination and surprises, this highly original tale is suspenseful and captivating. Peter is a relatable hero whose sudden fall into valor is touching as he grows into his role, and the story’s other charming characters are believably drawn as well. More than just a well-spun fantasy, this exciting tale of self-discovery and courage shows that there’s strength hidden in each of us.
Lovers of fantasy and magic will warm to this coming-of-age tale filled with wizardry and spells.