The Ancient Castle is a self-published work; the author wrote it years ago for his children. It tumbles along like a bedtime story told over several nights and has that make-it-up-as-you-go feel. The author is just focused on making it fun. At times it feels like two stories that really don’t go together: one in a boarding school setting and one in a fantasy world. The characters are teenagers, but it really is geared towards elementary school readers and is an easy read. It moves rapidly from one adventure to the next and isn’t concerned with an over-arching continuity or story vision. The prose and dialogue are utilitarian and really just a means to an end.
It is sweet that this family story has been memorialized; that is one of the great things about self-publishing. It is no small feat to write a book, even for personal pleasure. A special shout out for the cover art, which is beautiful and worthy of a major publishing house.
Violence/Gore: Dream about a paint gun battle; fight (punch) teenagers, brief; deliberately shoot someone with paint gun; unfriendly martial art sparing resulting in broken nose and injury, extended scene; character imagines someone strangling him or putting a knife to throat; character punches brick wall; characters knocked unconscious; destruction by fire/mythical creature; kidnapping; fight with magic and staff; report of knocking unconscious; mythical creatures hit with pole; extended fight scene with mythical creatures involving hitting, injuries, death & injury of creatures, swords; mythical creatures injure character’s legs, mention of blood; attempt to strangle; pursuit to capture; chased by mythical character and hair catches fire and creature crashes; magic used to kill mythical creatures; extended battle scene involving mythical creatures with creatures hand and fingers cut off, human knocked unconscious; fist fight; girl slaps boy; extended boxing fight as part of competition; extended paintball war game;
Sex/Nudity: Characters flirt; boy thinks a girl is attractive; characters hug; girl kisses boy on cheek; character teased about being in love; character is kissed; character sees a girl and boy hug and hold hands.
Mature Subject Matter:
Alcohol / Drug Use: