[rating:3.5]
Author:  C.J. Busby
Series: Spell #1
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Kids
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Pages: 158
First Published: September 2011
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Received for review from Templar Publishing.

First Sentence:
The day that Max accidentally discovered the frogspell started like any ordinary day in Castle Perilous.

Blurb

Frogspell is a fun little read about a boy called Max who is lousy with anything resembling a weapon and would much prefer to be a wizard. He sets out to create a spell so impressive that it will win him the Novices’ Spell-Making Competition and finally get him noticed. This is how he accidentally invented the frogspell during a fight with his sister and how they end up helping Merlin to stop the Lady Morgana in her tracks.

Thoughts

This book is absolutely adorable. Written for the younger reader, there is a lot of humour geared towards kids. Of course, as adults we might not always ‘get’ it, however even in my foulest mood while reading this I found myself chuckling along. At only 158 pages, Frogspell is a very quick read which is great for the younger generation who don’t want to sit through 400 page novels but also for the rest of us. Sometimes a quick easy read is exactly what you need.

David Wyatt’s illustrations are delightful and add to the story nicely. Children’s books don’t tend to have a lot of description so pictures are always a bonus and Frogspell has chosen its’ artist well. Not only do they help you to form an accurate picture of the environment and characters but they themselves bring a little humour, as well as making the book more appealing to its’ target audience. And I’m just a little bit in love with the cover art.

The story itself isn’t anything new. It’s an Arthurian retelling featuring the young awkward kid who doesn’t get along with his sister who manages to accidentally create a powerful spell and save the day. The thing that makes it truly unique is all down to Busby. Her writing style is at once succinct and absorbing and thus easily, and most probably, read in one sitting. The characters are lively and varied. From Max and Olivia to their caring parents, the evil and deceitful sorceress with her lackeys who are more like very mean bullies, and of course the talking animals, my absolute favourite being Adolphus, Olivia’s pet dragon who is most definitely two sandwiches short of a picnic and afraid of heights. It’s all quite Disneyesque which is fantastic when you happen to love Disney.

If you’re looking for a fun and quick read, perhaps aimed towards young kids, I would definitely recommend Frogspell. It is a fantastic read for kids but just as enjoyable for older readers. It has bursts of humour which will have you giggling, adventure, magic, and a very silly pet dragon. What’s not to love?