Amazon Digital Services LLC (2018)
Reviewed by Autumn Stout (age 12) for Reader Views Kids (3/18)
T.L. Frances has given readers two tales in one with “The Bird Queen’s Book.” Denny is an average boy in a world with regular teenage problems: school, an overzealous dad who just wants Denny to be on the basketball team, and a job that is completely boring. Boring, that is, until he finds an unusual book hidden among some private documents.
Denny starts imagining all the things “The Bird Queen’s Book” could be about, and this is where the author leads us into her other tale of wizards and spells. Along the way Denny has three friends, Max, Lucy, and Katie but not all is what it seems with one of his friends. Denny must come to terms with his mother’s sudden death and the friends that are truly there for him. With all that is going on in his life the new-found book opens a whole new world for Denny and he starts to write a magical tale of 3 wizards: Master Deryck and his apprentices, Dacus and Massi. This adventure starts when Dacus finds a magical book in the section of the library that is being redone. With this book the 3 wizards travel through a portal to another world to find that their services are needed to undo a terrible plague that has been brought to this new world by rats. Denny finds he truly loves to write stories and searches out the true meaning of “The Bird Queen’s Book.”
I enjoyed “The Bird Queen’s Book,” with its unusual storyline of two separate plots and characters. I was actually left wanting more from both stories. I think Denny’s story has great potential to be a book on its own, with its Harry Potter/Spiderwick theme. His character was easy to relate to and also the messages about friendship and loss. The author did a wonderful job of putting the two tales together and connecting them in the end. Readers 5th grade level and up will enjoy how Denny comes up with the ideas for his new book, but will want to find out more about Master Deryck, his apprentices Dacus and Massi, and their continued training in magic. I do wish there had been some illustrations to help us get an idea of the characters and their surroundings. I will be looking forward to more books by T.L. Frances.