Publisher's Note:  

The next great fantasy epic is here! For fans of Ranger's Apprentice and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Everyone in Moorvale believes the legend: The brave knight Tristan and the famed wizard Vithric, in an epic battle decades ago, had defeated the evil Nethergrim and his minions. To this day, songs are sung and festivals held in the heroes' honor. Yet now something dark has crept over the village. First animals disappear, their only remains a pile of bones licked clean. Then something worse: children disappear. The whispers begin quietly yet soon turn into a shout: The Nethergrim has returned!

Edmund’s brother is one of the missing, and Edmund knows he must do something to save his life. But what? Though a student of magic, he struggles to cast even the simplest spell. Still, he and his friends swallow their fear and set out to battle an ancient evil whose powers none of them can imagine. They will need to come together--and work apart--in ways that will test every ounce of resolve.

In a story reminiscent of the Ranger’s Apprentice epic and The Chronicles of Narnia, Matthew Jobin weaves reality, magic, and adventure into the next great fantasy phenomenon.

The Nethergrim

by Matthew Jobin

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Overall Review:  

The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin is compared to The Ranger's Apprentice on the book jacket; that isn't a bad place to start.  Set in a medieval fantasy world (great map, by the way) of knights and magic, it is written in a high fantasy voice with detailed descriptions and complex dialogue-driven scenes.  A trio of friends--Edmund, Tom, and Katherine--are misfits in their village society, and the author isn't afraid to make his characters suffer.  As heart-wrenching as this is, it adds depth to the characters and true suspense to the plotline.  Solid writing, well-developed fantasy concepts--there is just nothing to complain about in this novel!


The style of writing in this book and the age of the main characters (fourteen years old) give this book substantial upward audience reach.  Fifth graders through eight graders would find this book particularly appealing.  The first in a series, The Nethergrim, is a fine start to a refreshing return to classic fantasy style.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None


Violence/Gore:  General reports of war and battles with deaths by sword and arrow; general report of deaths at hands of magical creatures; characters examine the bodies of animals to determine means of death with some description of the remains; character whips an animal; master is going to whip slave (implied) and later the wounds are treated; characters encounter body of a young boy, dead by knife w/ mention of blood; 2+ page fight with magical creatures with staff, sword, etc. resulting in human injuries and death of magical creature; brief fight with magical creature with sword and magic resulting in death of creature; recounting of long-ago fight with magical creatures resulting in many human deaths; character is stabbed and severely wounded, brief and non-detailed; intense scene of peril and imminent threat of branding, whipping, death of an animal  and an actual struggle with punching etc.; characters encounter bodies of magical creatures and see a human finger (stated, non-descriptive); characters encounter bones from a long-ago battle; characters examine hieroglyphics depicting battles, offerings, head of a man in a king's hand, etc.; non-detailed battle with fantasy creatures with injuries sustained; pursuit by magical beast resulting in death of an animal, mention of blood; extended battle with magic, spells, arrows, swords resulting in deaths of humans and magical creatures, non-detailed.


Sex/Nudity:  Characters briefly hold hands.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Slavery, death, abduction.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Drinking of wine and ale by adults at an inn.

Reviewed By Cindy
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