Magic realism is one of my favorite genres to read, and Honour’s Rest connects real-life locations in Scotland and England with the fantasy elements of magic, or the Rite as it is known here, in intriguing ways. I found the writing to be well-done and the story to be engaging, though it wasn’t entirely what I was expecting from the beginning. Instead of a lighthearted magical adventure, this story focuses more on the moral considerations involved in the use of the Rite and contains darker elements better suited to older readers. I’m looking forward to reading more in book 2! Please see my full review below.
Life has a way of making young people mature beyond their years, especially when magic is involved. Fourteen-year-old Pendragon Devon has never been in serious trouble at school, but when another student is pushed into a pond and Pendragon is pinned for the act, he finds himself unceremoniously excluded/expelled. Instead of attending another school, however, Pendragon is sent to live at his Uncle Napier’s castle in the middle of a Scottish Loch to discover more about both his heritage and his future. Friendships grow and adventures abound as Pendragon proceeds from naïve young teen to a deeply respected leader in this engaging story.
This story is very well-written, incorporating many of the important elements that come with the process of emerging into adulthood. Pendragon often finds himself balancing the need for adult supervision with the desire to be independent, and he gets into moments of trouble along the way. Bits of magic and mythical creatures make themselves known throughout the narrative, and Pendragon discovers there is more to the world than he ever realized before. Lovely descriptions and engaging action sequences keep readers engaged in Pendragon’s journey over the lengthy span of time he spends at his Uncle Napier’s home.
Newer young adult readers will appreciate the approachable presentation of this book. There is limited profanity and romance, but the depth of the investigation of good and evil is profound, making this book better suited to more mature readers. Fans of fantasy literature will enjoy Pendragon’s transformation through this story, and as the book is designed to accommodate future installments, readers will look forward to those, as well. This is a thought-provoking addition to library collections for young adult readers.
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