3 out of 4 stars
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Many different people, from many different ages, have walked on the land that we tread on today. History gives us a glimpse of real people from past eras, but imagine how incredible it would be if you were able to actually meet them. This is the wild adventure that the main characters in the book: Badman: The Ghost of King John by Peter Tye go on. This book is categorized as historical fiction but has elements of fantasy and mystery. It can also be considered a children’s book.
Nick and Fiona’s family move into Lamford Manor. Soon they discover that there is a resident ghost living amongst them. Nick, the main character of the story, loves history and is soon absorbed into discovering who the ghost is and what it wants. Edna, the housekeeper; Nicks sister, Fiona and Great Aunt Daphne are soon dragged into the quest as well. Their search leads them to find a hidden tunnel which takes them back in time to the year 1216. Here they must conceal their identities, and help the family that is currently living in Lamford Manor. Thus, these modern-day characters go on a riveting adventure in another era while trying to solve the mystery of their ghost that haunts them.
The book starts with two main plots: that of the modern-day characters, and that of the family living in Lamford Manor in the year 1216. Their stories begin as parallels, but eventually, they connect until they are one.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It made me wonder how it would be to live in a structure with such ancient architecture, and which has so much embedded history; since I live in a relatively new house with none of those elements. I imagine it would be quite interesting and almost an honor. This story also reminded me of those many mystery books I used to read as a child. However, I found the beginning of the book to be slightly confusing and this might put off potential younger readers.
In addition, I don’t know much about history so I didn’t know how much of the backstory was true from a historical point of view. I did some research and found that much of the backstory about King John, is surprisingly true.
In my opinion, the characters are not very developed. They stay the same way in which they have been introduced and there is no character progression. For example, when going on their quest, I would have expected the adults to have more reservation for the children's outlandish ideas, yet they go along with these ideas without fear of any consequences that may arise. The storyline also seems to go in the characters favor most of the time. Although this is a children’s book, so too much depth is not to be expected.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Unfortunately, I did find several spelling and grammar errors. Moreover, it is an interesting story, but not astounding such that I would award it 4 stars.
Badman:The Ghost of King John
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