Friday 6 September 2019

MG review- The Land of Roar: Jenny Mclachlan and Ben Mantle



The Land of Roar is stunning, soaring adventure that took my breath away as though I were on the back of a dragon. It was a fantastic read to end the summer holidays, although I felt so fired up after reading it that I rather wish I'd read it at the beginning.
I am already a big fan of Ben Mantle, as an illustrator of some of my favourite picture books, but this is the first book of Jenny Mclachlan's that I have read, probably because this one is aimed at the Middle Grade age-range. The book was way down my reading list but, somehow, sneaked it's way to my top spot with the dynamic cover art and attention it was getting on social media.    
Roar is a child's magical imagination gone to town. It's a place where anything goes but everything works. A ninja wizard, dragons, scarecrows, unicorns, stallions and mermaids at first seemed like an over-enthusiastic mix. No way! It's a paradise of exhilaration and adventure that will appeal to boys and girls alike. Anchoring it all together is the central character, Arthur (who tells the story in the first person) and the troubled, humorous and  poignant relationships he has with those he loves: Arthur and Rose, Arthur and Grandad, Arthur and Win. Win's humour is a great balance to Rose's angst and Crowky makes for a brilliant, unique and surprisingly sinister baddie. 
The Land of Roar gave me personal echoes of Peter Pan. It highlights the importance of believing and being true to yourself. I can't wait for the next instalment!

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