New Middle-Grades Trilogy: The Brightstone Saga

14 Aug

The Brightworking: Book I of the Brightstone Saga

The Brightworking: Book I of the Brightstone Saga by Paul B. Thompson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Brightstone Saga is a forthcoming fantasy trilogy from Enslow Publishers. The Brightworking was a relatively light story that was easily digestible and takes place in a world of ancient magic, which I can see appealing to middle-grade students. This could certainly pass as a read-alike for the youngest Harry Potter fans, but lacks the depth those fans may be used to. The story does not waste much time with background and setting details and gets right into the action of the story, but the trade-off here is that the characters seemed undeveloped and it was difficult to tie the story to any larger, meaningful themes, so it fell a bit flat for me. At the same time, there are political sub-plots in this story that are glazed over and may be confusing to the intended (ages 10 and up) audience, and as an adult reader it was unclear to me if those factions were important to the story. For it’s pacing and appealing subject matter, I am reluctant to score The Brightworking with only 2 stars, but I am also hesitant to bump it up to 3 without some more developed literary elements that seemed to be lacking.

On a promising note, there was a preview of the second book in the trilogy, The Fortune Teller, and that seemed as though it may have more intrigue and will go deeper into the characters than the first effort. I’m interested to see how the second installment may or may not fill out the larger story of The Brightstone Saga.

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