4 out of 4 stars
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Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle by Brandon Mull is the third book in his Dragonwatch series. Having not read any of his other books in the series previously, I initially found it difficult to get into the novel. Mull spends very little time introducing his characters, assuming that readers have read other books in the series. While this keeps fans of the series from getting bogged down in rehashing events of other books, it did initially make it somewhat difficult to get involved with these characters. Still, persevering through the first couple of chapters rewarded me with an amazing tale.
Mull kicks off Master of the Phantom Isle with Seth, a teenage boy who sacrificed his memories to save the world. As a shadow charmer, he has allied himself with Ronodin, a dark unicorn that seems to be one of the few people who understand Seth and his dark powers. Seth’s sister, Kendra, wants nothing more than to find her missing brother and help him regain his memories. As they search for Seth, Kendra and her friends must help the Crescent Lagoon dragon sanctuary restore the magic that protects its borders. In the process, they hope to find information that will lead them to Seth and allow them to rescue him.
I absolutely loved this book. Mull clearly has established his world very well, and he develops his characters just as thoroughly. The swift pace of the novel made it easy to read. Using clever dialog, Mull keeps building momentum until the climax of the book. Clear, engaging imagery allows the readers to immerse themselves in the adventure.
While this novel primarily targets the middle grade reader, I can certainly attest to this book being equally engaging to an adult reader. Muir’s language choices are very appropriate to the middle grade reader level. Clean story lines and clear plots make this a book that an entire family could enjoy together. On top of that, impeccable editing meant that I could really sit back and enjoy this novel thoroughly.
Because of his incredible world building, engaging characters, and faultless editing, I give Master of the Phantom Isle 4 out of 4 stars. I highly recommend this book to readers that enjoy a fast-paced middle grade fantasy novel. It reminds me a bit of the Percy Jackson series in the way that it is written in an episodic manner for young people to enjoy. Readers that have already enjoyed one of Mull’s books are sure to love this latest addition to this series. Unless you enjoy being dumped into the middle of the story, I would recommend reading the first books in this series before diving into this one. Readers should be able to figure out what’s going on pretty easily, but I do think that reading the other books would further enhance a reader’s enjoyment.
Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle
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