I received a free copy of A Keeper's Tale in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to JA Andrews.
Set in the world of The Keeper Chronicles which includes SPFBO semi-finalist A Threat of Shadows, this is an enjoyable fantasy fairy tale told to a crowded inn full of enthusiastic patrons, by a Keeper. The story progresses as follows. Tomkin is the youngest son of the Duke of Marshwell. He's a great strategist and administrator with a prompt, analytical mind. His hero brother, Elton, and the nation's armies are away doing typical military duty. Everything is in order and great until a dragon is witnessed hijacking and devouring local sheep. Tomkin, with his grandfather's sword Scalebreaker, decides to investigate the castle ruins at Colbreth where the dragon is reportedly residing.
Simply put, this is a very well written, positive fantasy drama that would be a great introduction to the scene for young teens. Perhaps the sort that you and your children could read at the same time and both love. It was similar to King's Eyes of the Dragon (that I loved when I was 11) and the main flashback from his The Wind Through the Keyhole. Although simple, the characters are engaging throughout. We only really follow Tomkin, the mysterious Mags, the purple hat flaunting creature Wink, and the dragon. The descriptions given to describe the dragon are beautiful. It was a pretty gripping and engrossing tale hence why I completed it within 24 hours. It is ultimately story focused so don't expect exquisite world building yet, that isn't a negative. This narrative is about Tomkin and the Dragon and 80-percent of the action takes place amongst the castle ruins. Common opinion, which I ignore, is that self-published books are second-rate compared to trad-published. This story is another reason of why I can argue against this point. It's really well edited and during its brisk 200-pages, I only noticed 2 minor grammatical errors. It isn't action packed with showdowns galore. Although Tomkin is often stubborn, the draw here is how he uses his mind, deals with Mags and analyses the grave scenarios to maybe escape the dragon-fuelled predicament. Just a quick review for a short fun tale. Andrews has a lot to offer. One of the plot twists was easy to work out for me but I don't think that will be the case for this tale's target audience. This is an excellent, well-written fantasy fairy-tale containing intriguing characters, interesting dilemmas, and a seemingly charming dragon. This is definitely worth picking up.
Review by James Tivendale
7.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
A Keeper\'s Tale written by JA Andrews
Tomkin Thornhewn, youngest son of the Duke of Marshwell, has a problem: he’s not heroic. Regardless of his aspirations, the bookish, untrained young man is better sui [...]
Our rating: 7.5 | positive reader reviews
by JA Andrews
Do some choices change us too much for us to ever change back? There was a time when Alaric was a Keeper, one of the men entrusted with counseling the queen, protecting the [...]
Series: The Keeper Chronicles #1
Our rating: 7.8 | 1 positive reader reviews
by Robin Hobb
Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service [...]
Series: Fitz and the Fool #1
Our rating: 9.9 | 2 positive reader reviews
by Robin Hobb
On the northernmost point of the Cursed Shores lies Bingtown, a bustling hub of exotic trade and home to a proud merchant nobility famed for its extraordinary vessels. Only [...]
Series: The Liveship Traders: Book 1
Our rating: 9.7 | 4 positive reader reviews
by Patricia McKillip
Spanning a quarter of a century, an anthology of previously uncollected short fiction by the World Fantasy Award-winning author explores a world of magic in such works as & [...]
Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
by ND Wilson
For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone t [...]
Series: The Ashtown Burials: Book 1
Our rating: 9.3 | 1 positive reader reviews