Hey guys! This week I get to work with the amazing, fantastical, wonderful Rockstar Book Tours to bring you a review of The Book Knights by J.G. McKenney! This was such a fun read. I’m kind of a nerd about Arthurian legend (I’ve read The Once and Future King three times already) and this was such a fun twist on the classic! It’s set in a (relatively) modern, maybe slightly futuristic society. In this the terrible witch Morgan Fay has outlawed reading, declaring it a punishable crime. She is the head of an extremely powerful corporation that regularly conducts raids of homes of suspected readers, burning all of the books inside.
The book centers around Arti Penderhagen, a reader. At the beginning of the book, Mordred (the chief of Morgan Fay’s private army) discovers that she and her parents are readers, and her home is burned to the ground. Arti escapes narrowly, but her parents are taken to jail. Thus begins Arti’s wild journey, in which she must take to the streets. She is very nearly caught but rescued at the last minute by a badass girl named Gal. The most badass duo ever is formed, and once joined by old librarian Merl they embark on a quest to save the Grail Tome and rescue Arti’s parents.
This was such a fun take on the classic! I loved it whenever a new character entered and I was like ooh! I know who that is! But the changes were part of what stood out to me most in this book. The great King Arthur, known throughout legend as an incredible king, was a fourteen-year-old girl who loves reading. Galahad, Arthur’s right-hand man and confidant, was a twelve-year-old kick-ass street orphan. These changes made me absolutely love this book, because one unfortunate flaw of classics is their tendency to leave women out of the narrative. Here we had a story that originally lacked strong female protagonists, changed to one where strong, competent young women are at the forefront. I loved it.
The friendships in this book were also so strong. It had my fave thing: kickass, bad-guy fighting squad of teens. Books like that are always my faves. Arti, Gal, Lance, Gwen, and Merl (not a teen, but still part of the squad) were such an awesome group. They fought evil together, learned together, read together, and joked together. If that isn’t squad goals, I don’t know what is. Tbh, that’s my idea of a perfect group of friends.
Arti was also such a fun character to get to know. She was funny, resourceful, quick thinking, and smart. Plus, she was ready to go to war for books. That’s my kind of girl. I spent half the book wishing that I could be Arti and the other half wishing that I could be her best friend.
Finally, this book had such a creative premise. Truly original books are few and far between nowadays, and finding such an original midgrade novel was truly refreshing. I’m really loving this trend of classic retellings, but this one particularly stood out because of its take on Arthurian legend. I think it changed many aspects without losing the heart of the story, and that is a great feat. You can get it here The Book Knights
Final rating- 4.5/5
Thanks for reading, and until next time, happy reading 🙂
About the Book:
Title: THE BOOK KNIGHTS
Author: J.G. McKenney
Pub. Date: July 5, 2017
Publisher: J.G. McKenney
Formats: Paperback, eBook
From the award winning author of EON’S DOOR comes an Arthurian tale like no other.
When her parents are condemned to death by Morgan Fay for the crime of reading, Arti Penderhagen becomes a fugitive. Hunted by Mordred, the sadistic police captain who recites poetry to enhance his physical strength, Arti escapes to the Isle of Avalon, a sanctuary for outlaws. There she meets an old librarian named Merl who tells her about the Grail Tome, an ancient book in Morgan Fay’s possession that can alter the course of history. Can Arti steal the book in time to save her family?
THE BOOK KNIGHTS is a fantasy adventure in which knights wield words as weapons, librarians are wizards, and books can change the future.
Although the name on my books is “J.G.” McKenney, you can call me John. I’m a writer and a teacher. I also consider myself a book knight, but you’ll need to read my latest novel to find out what that’s all about.
My fascination with fantasy and adventure began at a young age when I discovered works like THE HOBBIT and THE CALL OF THE WILD. That early love of reading has matured into a need to tell stories that transport readers into worlds full of wonder and enchantment. It’s an addiction I don’t intend to kick. The problem is I’ll be dead long before I can write all the books I’ve got in my head. There…just thought of another one.
In the winter, if I’m not at work keeping tabs on my Co-op students, you’ll find me at home working away on a manuscript, reading someone else’s book, or walking with my wife and best friend, Wendy. If it’s Friday afternoon, I’ll be playing hockey with the boys.
Summer’s my favorite season because it gives me more time to write. It’s also the time for boating, swimming, and reclining in my zero-gravity chair under the shade of the maple trees next the lake shore. Oh, and walking with my wife. If it’s Thursday afternoon, I’ll be playing golf with…you guessed it…the boys.
I’d love to hear from you. Follow me on Twitter @JGMcKenney or reach out through my “Contact Me” page with your questions or comments. I’ll let you know about my promotions, including when I offer free books!
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE BOOK KNIGHTS, US Only.
3 winners will receive an eBook of THE BOOK KNIGHTS, International.
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