What fun! I had the privilege of reviewing this series for Story Warren. The review below reflects my thoughts after reading the trilogy once, but I wrote the one on Story Warren after reading the series four times through. We have now read it to all of our daughters, and we have listened to the audiobooks. And I cannot recommend it highly enough.
So, read the Story Warren review. Or read the old one below. Or just skip the reviews entirely and go read the books! You won’t be sorry if you go that route.
“I like mysteries because they’re scary, but you always know they’ll turn out right.”
So said our eldest child, not realizing that her words ushered in a new era of reading for our family. This era—in which we can read about the defeat of Voldemort, Smaug and Gnag the Nameless without sending little ones to bed with the kindling for nightmares—is one that I have looked forward to for a very long time. I have hoarded stories for it in the hope that, when this new era dawned, we’d be prepared, and though Lydia made her observation casually over breakfast, I spent the better part of the next two weeks pulling this book and that one off the shelf, wondering if she might be ready (at last!) for The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic. Or The Hobbit. Perhaps The Wingfeather Saga? Maybe?
But at the same time, I was reading The Wilderking Trilogy myself and enjoying it immensely, so I started there: I nonchalantly handed her the first volume and asked her to tell me what she thought.
She appeared at my elbow an hour later and wondered if I had, perhaps, finished the second book yet.
Jonathan Rogers’ books are set in the fictional realm of Corenwald and follow the story of young Aidan Errolson, who confronts gators, meets feechiefolk, and receives a surprising message from Bayard the Truthsayer. Aidan’s story is a retelling of the story of King David, hitting the major plot points but interpreting each one with a swampy, fantastical touch.
The Wilderking Trilogy, then, is a great series for kids who, like Lydia, are just dipping their toes into the exciting sea of adventure and fantasy stories, and who may have, like Lydia, turned eight this past week (and celebrated with freshly pierced ears and a trip to The Trampoline Zone—though not in that order). They’re action-packed but not too intense, and some of the characters are profoundly memorable (see: Errol and Dobro). And they are hilarious—perfect fodder for a summer read-aloud.
The Wilderking Trilogy
Jonathan Rogers (2014)