Oh, my goodness! I can’t stop smiling after finishing this wonderfully enchanting story. This is such a joyous treat of a book, a real celebration of the never-ending importance and power of the imagination … if only we can let ourselves believe!
Twins Rose and Arthur are growing apart as they get ready to start secondary school. Rose is too busy to play with Arthur as she becomes engrossed in the world of her phone, Youtube, make-up and fitting in with the popular girls. And Arthur is feeling left out, lonely and worried about his new school.
Every summer, the children are sent to stay with their Grandad where, in his attic, they had created and explored the Land of Roar: a glorious world, filled with their loves and fears, moulded in the freedom of allowing their imaginations to run wild. But now, their make-believe den is to be turned into a more grown-up retreat … until their Grandad is taken to Roar through an old camp-bed which is the portal into this land. And the children follow …
What the twins discover is not the world they left behind … there is real danger, and perhaps rescuing their Grandad is not the only saving needed. Joined by Arthur’s best ‘non-real’ friend Wininja and Rose’s dragons, Pickle and Vlad, they must attempt to rescue their Grandad and foil Arthur’s nemesis, who is just the right amount of scary to make him the perfect adversary … revengeful, dark and deliciously evil!
I really loved the superb world-building, captured through both the rich description and Ben Mantle’s illustrations which are just divine, really helping the reader immerse themselves in this truly magical, and sometimes frightening, world. I can just imagine two young children sitting in an attic room, looking for adventure, drawing the map of Roar with its ‘Dungun’, ‘Tangled Forest’ and ‘Bad Side’ and venturing off into this world for many a happy hour, filled with fun, excitement – and a desire to scare each other!
Our Grandad is important because he believes in magic.
The Land of Roar has the most wonderful cast of characters from the very young-at-heart Grandad, whose imagination is still strong, to the fierce and daring Lost Girls. I must admit that I have a real soft spot for Wininja, the wizard-ninja whose ninja powers are a little more advanced than his wizarding powers, but who is just so carefree and full of joie de vivre, not to mention hilarious, and a wonderfully fearless friend. Arthur and Rose are such believable characters who find a way to reconcile the land of their imagination with the land of reality, and I really hope they get to venture into Roar again!
I wonder if every child has a world like this, only not all of them are lucky enough to find it.
I so hope every child can find a world of imagination, if not on their own, then through the inspiration of such fantastic stories as this one!