3 out of 4 stars
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Jeremy's adventure begins after an ancient family medallion he is given on his seventeenth birthday is stolen by a magpie. What Jeremy doesn't know at the time is that the magpie is from the witch-hunting era of King James, 400 years back in time. In its haste to escape, the magpie drops a feather that can help its wielder travel through time. Jeremy uses it to go after the magpie in a bid to recover his family's medallion. In the course of his adventure, he realizes that he can talk to animals. This new ability sees him gain new companions along his journey: an owl, Mr. Sterling; a badger, Mrs. Fitzy; a fox, Stallone; and a horse, Dudley. Jeremy faces a lot of trials and gleans many lessons along the way. What is the significance of the medallion to Jeremy's family? Why did the magpie travel through time to steal it? Does Jeremy succeed in retrieving the medallion? The answers to these questions can be found in the pages of this adventure story.
Randy Gauthier set the bulk of this story in medieval England when King James reigned, and witch-hunting was a thing. I'm a historical fiction nut, so clearly, this was what I loved the most about Jeremy and the Witches' Medallion: The Witch Hunt. The author began this book with a little backstory of England's history and then transported me 400 years into the future, where I was introduced to Jeremy and the medallion-stealing magpie.
Jeremy's adventure had many fantasy and magic elements, as expected of a sci-fi/fantasy novel. A few good examples of these were the talking animals, the mysterious family medallion, and the time-traveling magpie, to mention a few. I also liked the arrangement of the chapters. The chronology of events and the way the characters' stories unfolded made sense to me.
The author also infused some humor in the story, which is always a good idea to keep any story interesting. I found myself often laughing when I got to certain portions of the story. This was especially true concerning the race between Dudley and Mr. Sterling. The human names Gauthier gave the animal characters were also interesting to me. I would have preferred that the horse and the fox switched names. To my ear, the name "Stallone" makes more sense for a horse since it's close to the word "Stallion," but that's just me.
I did find a couple of things I didn't like about this book. My first issue was with a particular component of the plot. Gauthier devoted too much time talking about the search for a sword, which eventually didn't play as big a part in the story as I expected. I felt it took away the focus a bit from Jeremy and his primary mission. The second and most significant issue I had was with the author's writing. There were several instances where it felt mechanical due to the consistent use of character names. It felt like he was trying to avoid the use of pronouns. This wasn't a good look.
For a story this long, I found only two clear-cut grammar problems, which means that it was professionally edited. I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed the story's mostly medieval setting and Jeremy's character and journey. However, the mechanical writing in some portions of the book and the distraction from Jeremy's mission made me deduct a star from my rating. I recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction with a sci-fi/fantasy element.
Jeremy and the Witches Medallion
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