Half Upon a Time by James Riley is a rollicking fairy tale. Rather than a re-telling or re-imagining of a particular fairytale, this novel includes familiar elements of well-known fairy tales into a new story. Jack, the fourteen year old protagonist, is a skeptical adventurer, but his heart is brave and he is matched word for word by a spunky May. Although this book is set in a fairy tale world rather than a modern one, the free-flowing banter among the characters and the humor is quite modern in style. The story zips along with plenty of action and twists.
This novel is the first in a completed (hooray!) trilogy so the reader can move right on to the next book in the series without a wait. Readers who loved The Hero’s Guide to Saving the Kingdom books will enjoy this book, as it has the same spirit and flavor of cavalier adventuring and humor.
Profanity/Language: 2 religious exclamations.
Violence/Gore: Report (non-detailed) of fantasy violence/stories; training exercises involving swords, dragon fire, etc.; extended, but general report of encounter with magic, monster creatures involving escape and abduction; implication that a character was knocked unconscious; characters knocked unconscious upon a few separate occasions; animal kicks and chases a character; a few separate threats of violence/death; characters struggle, kick, knock unconscious with a large lollipop; injury by sword; characters purposefully cut self to get a blood sample; fight scene with sword, arrows, etc. resulting in injury with mention of blood (general descriptions); magical battle(s); report of death of a parent; character shows evidence of violence (bruises, etc.); battle with magic, knife, destruction of property.
Sex/Nudity: Characters briefly embrace.
Mature Subject Matter:
Alcohol / Drug Use: