3 out of 4 stars
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Jamie Collins is not your typical 12-year-old. Just last week, he discovered that he comes from a long line of wizards who have been helping the elves of the Gnome Nebula galaxy defend their worlds from the evil Ketch clan of wizards. This evil clan has been at odds with the Collins family for quite some time. During his first visit to Ninelands the week before, Jamie made the important decision to follow in the footsteps of those before him. Lucky for Jamie, he won't be going it alone. His sister Megan, along with his best friends Abby and Mike, have also decided to do their parts to help the elves and WIGS - Wizards In Good Standing. While Jamie trains in the Wizard Plenary Program to become a wizard, Megan, Abby, and Mike will train in the Children's Novice Program of Magic in order to assist Jamie as members of his team.
Rings Of Enchantment is the second installment in K.E. Boyer's fantasy series, Jamie Collins' Mystical Adventures. Like the first book of this series, the events within this book all take place in the time span of a single day. Jamie and his team have returned to Ninelands to begin their training. The children visit the various elf worlds of Gnome Nebula to find out how each one is special and unique, and also to learn about the work performed by the elves that live in each world. While visiting each elf world, Jamie is given a task to complete with the help of his team. These tasks enable the four children to learn important skills and further their magical abilities. Not surprisingly, before the day is done, Jamie is confronted by his enemy, Zard, who happens to be the future head of the Ketch clan of wizards. Will Jamie's magic be strong enough to keep this future Percovia at bay, or will Zard successfully overpower Jamie?
K.E. Boyer has written an engaging and creative story aimed at young fantasy fans ages 8 to 14 years. It is full of magic, colorful characters, and vivid descriptions. The author's own imagination really shines through in her writing. The reader can easily get lost in the mystical elf worlds full of charming characters. Young readers can relate to the wonder felt by Jamie and his team as they discover each new and interesting facet of these worlds. From flying spoons to trees that you can communicate with through your thoughts, each turn of the page delivers interesting surprises and creative content to capture and maintain the attention of readers.
Part of what I love and appreciate so much about this novel, is also what I think the latter part of the intended audience may find a bit constricting. Our middle-schoolers are already being exposed to epic battle scenes, and are experiencing the loss of beloved characters. The sheer positivity, and the almost gentle security, of this book may not be enough to hold their interests. On the other hand, this makes it ideal for the younger portion of the target age group. These budding fantasy readers can enjoy the incredible descriptions of fantastic worlds and mystical creatures without having to deal with the darker elements of this genre. Parents can rest assured that their child's imagination is being nourished while his or her innocence stays intact.
I really did enjoy this fanciful story, and I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. While the errors are not particularly distracting, because the young readers are still learning proper spelling and grammar, further editing would be beneficial to the book overall. K.E. Boyer has produced a great fantasy novel, and as the parent of an almost-8-year-old boy, I find no fault in it outside of minor errors and occasional typos. I would gladly give a copy of this book to my son. Rings Of Enchantment can be enjoyed in its own, but it definitely wouldn't hurt to read Ninelands first.
Jamie Collins' Mystical Adventures: RINGS OF ENCHANTMENT, Vol.2
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