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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

There were plenty of other middle schoolers it could've chosen. Six-hundred and eighty-six, if you didn't count Clifton. The Arrow of Light appeared in his closet then whisked him away to a far-off land, where a dwarf and magical bird led him to two princes. He returned their arrow that he had somehow found and went home to his normal life. But the Arrow of Light had other plans. When Clifton found out that the king locked the princes in Drofflic Tower, he knew he must return to the past to protect the future. Enlisting the help of many mythical creatures and the princes' own sister, he managed to find the reason the Arrow of Light chose him. But magic can be wrong. And history longs to be told…

Overall Book Review:

Clifton Chase is a normal kid with an unusual story to tell.  It’s not just his imagination and that’s what makes this story so magical.  It all starts on a very normal day.  While he’s facing his own personal bully from school, he accepts a challenge which ends in a very unexpected way.  Set in both the past and the present, Clifton enters a world he never knew existed.   

In this epic story of good versus bad, Clifton has to decide which side he’s on.  Mythical creatures, mermaids, dwarves, soldiers, and swords make for thrilling entertainment.  Throughout the book there are a few battles with swords and some people die; however, the author has done a favorable job of making each of the scenes exciting without being descriptive or gory.

With a good combination of history and fiction, his journey of mythical proportions is educational but written in a light-hearted manner.  It was easy to stay enthusiastic about reading this story, and it left me with a sharp impression that being honorable and dependable are important traits in a character.  As Clifton travels through both worlds, he learns some good life lessons and grows personally.  Responsibility and integrity were also key threads woven throughout his expedition.

With interesting conflict and light-hearted entertainment, this adventure would be good for boys or girls, young or old, or anybody looking for a solid story that grows in strength and suspense.  The characters are uniquely flawed, each in their own way, which makes them all the more real and believable. 

Jaimie Engle is the author of several other books including The Toilet Papers.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations. 

Violence/Gore:  2 occasions when a preteen boy wishes he could throw a chair or hit another young man; 2 preteen boys get into a fight after 1 threw something at the other; a preteen boy dreams that a friend has been badly hurt; mention of a king who was fatally wounded; a major battle between 2 armies, many die, some light descriptions. 

Sex/Nudity:  A preteen girl kisses a preteen boy as a thank you, no details or emotions.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death of parents, death of a friend, political unrest, marriage annulled and birthright revoked, war, bullying.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Mention of several men who drink enough alcohol to be drunk. 

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Reading a good adventure story has always been a vacation in the theater of my mind. When I’m stressed or just need to get away for a few minutes, I love the opportunity to climb into somebody else’s world. I didn’t enjoy reading until I was in the Air Force and building bombs in Korea; it was a wonderful distraction from the real world. (I tried bull riding, but it wasn’t exciting enough.)