Have Sword Will Travel Review | Dragons, Knights and Enchanted Swords, oh my!

Title: Have Sword, Will Travel (Have Sword Will Travel #1)
Author: Garth Nix and Sean Williams
Published: November 2018
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Readership: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★.5
RRP: $14.99 AUD

I received a copy of Have Sword, Will Travel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

From New York Times bestselling authors Garth Nix and Sean Williams, comes this hilarious, action-packed adventure featuring a very unlikely knight, an admirably stubborn girl and a sword with attitude.

When Odo and Eleanor stumble upon an ancient sword in a river outside their village, something very unexpected happens … the sword starts to talk! Much to Odo’s dismay he discovers that he’s awoken a famous enchanted blade called Biter, and thus has instantly become a knight. Eleanor would love to become a knight – but she’s not the one with the sword. Unearthing Biter is only the start of their troubles; soon boy, girl and sword must depart on a noble quest to save their kingdom from threats – in both human and dragon form.

When I first requested Have Sword, Will Travel to review, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Middle grade fiction is not something I’ve read a ton of in recent years, but I’m looking to get back into it and thought why not give this series by Garth Nix and Sean Williams a shot (especially since I have a lot of respect for Garth Nix as an author).

Have Sword, Will Travel is a fun fantasy adventure story that begins in the town of Lenburh where two young friends – Odo and Eleanor – are searching for eels in a dried up river. The cause of the lack of water is concerning for the town, and when the two young friends stumble upon an enchanted sword in the water, they’re plunged into a quest to find and stop a dragon.

What makes the characters of Odo and Eleanor so interesting in this book is that Odo finds the sword and is subsequently knighted – but he’s not the adventurous sort, and not overly keen on becoming a knight, which is at odds with Eleanor who is highly motivated to be a knight and yet is relegated to the role of squire for Odo. The two friends struggle a bit with their roles and their friendship as a result, but the quest and the determination to stop the dragon from taking all the water is what helps them perservere.

Biter is also absolutely hilarious – he’s a talking, enchanted sword with no memory of how he came to be hidden in the water, but he’s utterly determined to get back into the ‘fight’ so to speak and is thus the reason Odo and Eleanor find themselves on this quest in the first place. Biter is eager to jump in head first (or blade first?) without thinking too much about the consequences of the action, so it falls to its human companions to temper some of the sword’s fiery nature.

Overall, this is just a fun little read, that any fantasy or adventure loving middle-grade reader will enjoy. There are lots of side quests and missions, a whole host of interesting and hilarious side characters and problems for everyone to solve on the way.

Plus, there are dragons!

What more could you want?

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