Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows Review

Title: Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows
Author: J.M. Bergen
Published: February 2019
Publisher: Elandrian Press
Readership: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real.

Seven years have passed, and Thomas hasn’t forgotten. He hasn’t forgotten the blue of his dad’s eyes either, or the tickle of beard on his cheek as they hugged goodbye. Last moments with a parent are memorable, even if you don’t know that’s what you’re having at the time.

Now, with his 13th birthday rapidly approaching, Thomas’s search for magic is about to take a radical and unexpected turn. At an out-of-the-way shop filled with dusty leather books, a strange little man with gold-flecked eyes offers him an ancient text called The Book of Sorrows. The price is high and the rules are strict, but there’s no way Thomas can resist the chance to look inside.

With the mysterious book guiding the way, a strange new world is revealed – a world in which Thomas has a name and destiny far more extraordinary than he ever imagined. But time is short. Even as Thomas uncovers his secret family history, enemies emerge, threatening to end his rise to power and destroy everything he holds dear.

Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a charming fantasy-adventure series about a 12 year old boy finding magic and danger in the world he thought he knew.

Ever since his father left, Thomas Wildus has believed that magic is real and has been searching for clues to prove his belief. On the way home from school one afternoon, he stumbles upon a bookstore and meets the owner – a man who gives him a book that comes with rules and conditions. The Book of Sorrows promises answers to all of Thomas’ questions, and as he reads it he comes aware of a larger plot in his world, and the magic that opposing forces are racing to find.

I was very grateful to be approached to review this book. I’m now constantly on the hunt for middle-grade books to share with my students and I couldn’t turn this opportunity down.

This is a very fast-paced fantasy adventure tale that has great friendship representation, lots of magic and a thrilling adventure for young readers. Thomas is a regular kid, who goes to school, doodles his way through history classes and struggles to form words around the girl he likes. He misses his dad, and doesn’t like how his mother brings all of her work home with her, but he has a good life and he knows it.

When he’s suddenly thrust into a world that suddenly has magic – the same magic – he’s been seeking all of his life, Thomas needs to find inner courage and strength and learn who his allies are, as well as his enemies.

This was a fun read, and I’m looking forward to taking it into my classroom to share with my very avid-readers.

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