I've often heard about book editors and agents being able to tell within the first pages--and even the first paragraphs--of a story whether they are interested in committing to the rest, but it wasn't until I began reading and reviewing in earnest that I truly understood this reality. Books like Evertrue demonstrate strong writing from the first words, and I knew right away that I would enjoy the delivery of this book. Though it's relatively short, especially in the context of fantasy tales, I found myself entertained by the myriad characters and ultimately satisfied by the straightforward plot progression and easily digestible narrative. Please see my full review below!

Adventure and desire go hand in hand when greed is at the forefront of an avaricious king’s desires. King Josef has everything he could ever want or need, but this naturally means he must get his hands on the elusive Evertrue Emerald in order to be truly satisfied. To this end, a ragtag team of adventurers is summoned to retrieve the Emerald in order to keep both their jobs and their homes. Led by a brave girl named Mila, the four traverse a network of caves filled with unknown challenges in order to fulfil their king’s wishes.

Gripping from the first moments, the writing in this book is immediately accessible and entertaining, keeping readers turning pages to discover what happens next. Overall, the story takes about an hour to read, but it is filled with intrigue and contains a complete and satisfying plot. Though brief, this book carries all the hallmarks of a traditional fantasy adventure: kings, dragons, knights, unexpected creatures, and brave heroes all find their way into the mix.

Throughout the story, the writing incorporates both humor and recognizable plot points, giving readers a comfortable and familiar setting for this bite-sized tale. Each character has a dynamic and unique personality which lead them to pursue their overall goal. The plot itself is well laid out, including all the elements of a traditional narrative, but there is great potential for expansion of the overall story. Intentionally distilled into its component parts, this story gives readers the satisfaction of an epic fantasy adventure without the commitment required of a longer novel.

It is rare to come upon a fantasy story that can be told in the succinct fashion of this book, and Evertrue manages to succeed in this regard. Myriad characters are introduced to advance the plot, but the overarching goal remains clear from beginning to end. Strong morals and behaviors are found throughout the narrative, encapsulating the recognizable feel of a fantasy epic within a concise context. Advanced middle grade as well as older readers who are looking for a taste of fantasy in a smaller package will appreciate the forward motion and brief design of this book.

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