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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory, deliver a priceless peace offering to their mysterious dark lord, and spy on the goblin kingdom — from which no elf has returned alive in more than a hundred years. Brangwain’s host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is delighted to show Brangwain around. They should be the bes…

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

by M.T. Anderson, Eugene Yelchin

Overall Book Review:

Award-winning author M.T. Anderson teams up with seasoned author and illustrator Eugene Yelchin to bring middle graders something right out of middle earth in The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge.

Warring for more than 100 years, it’s pretty safe to say that elves and goblins are not the best of friends so when elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is sent on a mission to offer a peace treaty to the Goblin King he takes this job matter of factly. On the other hand, goblin archivist Werfel takes his duty to be Spurge’s host just as seriously. Cultural misunderstandings, a century of prejudice, and misinformation ensue a comical calamity that could be the end of civilization as they know it.

The story delves into how preconceived notions can skew reality as well as limit our ability to expand our horizons – different doesn’t automatically equal “bad.”

The world building and characterizations of elves and goblins are as odd as it is whimsy making it bizarrely delightful read made complete with intermittent illustrations. And though its fantasy, the issues brought up, though be it in a humorous manner, are prevalent issues today:  propagandists, division, as well as a corrupt government system.

Spurge and Werfel may be scholars, but that doesn’t mean they’re savvy. Join their adventure to see if you can determine who’s good and who’s bad. Or is it all a matter of perspective?

Review of an Advance Reader Copy provided by the Publisher for review

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  A few images of violence; report of being blinded by the enemy, tongues cut out; humorous death; brief and extended scenes of violent reports, threats, and behavior is conveyed throughout the book, but it is done humorously.

Sex/Nudity:  Male character misses his deceased girlfriend.

Mature Subject Matter:

War, propaganda, prejudice.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Mention of wine and champagne.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I appreciate books of all genres, but my main squeeze is fiction. Depending on my mood it could be romance or suspense; lately I’ve been courting fantasy. When I don’t have my nose in a book, I am locating tasty paleo recipes, writing in-coherent poetry, and crafting with paper.