The Brightstone Saga, by Paul B. Thompson

Book I: The Brightworking, ISBN 978-1-4644-0169-5, 160 pages.
Book II: The Fortune-Teller, ISBN 978-1-4644-0265-4, 160 pages.
Book III: The Battle for the Brightstone, ISBN 978-1-4644-0267-8, 176 pages.

Summary
The boy Mikal is ‘gleaned’ by the magician’s guild, and brought to their guild-house far from his home. There he makes friends with a girl named Lyra, and becomes apprentice to the magician Harlano.

Unfortunately, Harlano is up to no good, and Mikal and Lyra have to work together to survive. They escape the ruin of the guild-house, carrying a talking head — far more important and powerful than they initially realize — and try to make a new life.

But Harlano is not done with them. He wants the talking head back. He wants to destroy the Brightstone, the source of all magic, and if Mikal and Lyra don’t find a way to stop him, maybe he will end the world as they know it.

Comments
This is a middle-grade fantasy. Each volume is slim, and the style and action are very much suited to a middle-grade audience. For an adult reader, this sometimes has its disadvantages. The world just — happens. Bad things just — happen. Sometimes, unexpected good things — happen. The kids take everything in stride. But that’s probably true to the way a middle-grade reader experiences the world. Kids in an adult world find that things — happen — to them, and they have to deal.

There’s a lot here for a reader to love. The action is nonstop. The characters are lively and determined. The adventures are presented pretty vividly.

All in all, if you have a middle-grade reader looking for a fun fantasy read, these books are a good choice for a gift. It’ll be an easy read, and I think most middle-grade readers, especially boys, will find themselves really identifying with Mikal’s struggles.

I received free copies of these books at Book Expo America, including an advance review copy of The Battle for the Brightstone. I have no other connection with the author or the publisher.

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