MG Takes on Thursday

This is my weekly meme celebrating amazing middle-grade books, now with a re-vamped banner!

How to take part:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence. 
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

This week, I’m celebrating …

Written by Kieran Larwood
Cover Illustration by Fernando Juarez

Interior Illustrations by Chris Wormell
Published by Faber & Faber Limited

Favourite Sentence from Page 11:

Liska growled under her breath and swung about, swooping down to brush the tops of the highest trees with her paws.

This book in three words:


The Treekeepers is a breath-takingly stunning, epic fantasy quest that enthralled me from the opening lines.  I read this masterpiece whilst sitting in the garden over a day:  living in the magic of the storytelling, drawn into the incredible landscapes of Skyra, and with my heart completely captured by the quest undertaken by a courageous band of friends, intent on saving their world from a terrible threat …  

Liska is a shapewalker who can transform into a griffyx, a creature of myth.  She is training to be a warrior, protecting the forest city of Arborven and its magical tree, the Undrentree.   When she overhears a conversation, Liska realises that the Tree is under threat, but no one will listen to her …  If she is to save her world, she must undertake a dangerous quest to find something that might not even exist in the hope that she can save the Undrentree and her world …

Liska is joined on her quest by Lug, who is a vermispex mage which gives him the ability to summon and control earthworms, not exactly a power that is respected by the other mages, but one that may just be more important than he could ever imagine.  They are also joined by ghost-girl, Elowen, who has spent a lot of time alone, with her secrets and knowledge, and is excited to go an adventure.  And then, there is Fishbone, a kittimew, and definitely not a cat, even if he does have a fondness for rats!

These companions find themselves in a race across the lands not only to save the Tree, but also to stay ahead of a determined and terrifying pursuer.  Will they reach their destination in time to save their world?  Will they find that what they are seeking is only a myth?  This is an action-packed, heart-pounding adventure, brimming with danger, tension and discovery where I was never quite sure whether those encountered would be friend or foe which kept me reading with bated breath. 

The world-building is phenomenal; I felt completely immersed in the sights and sounds of Arborven and its surrounding lands, and their amazing, diverse inhabitants:  mages, wyverns, shapewalkers, treekeepers, gorgaunts, giants and seepers to name a few.  Some of these terrified me and some fascinated.  I loved learning about the tree of shadow and light and the parasitical nature of one’s relationship towards the other compared to the much more symbiotic link between the Undrentree and the treekeepers. Learning about the interconnection between the mages, the treewalkers and the Undrentree, their history and the structure of their society was utterly engrossing. 

Liska, Lug and Elowen are a brilliant band of true friends who together take on a perilous quest and support each other along the way. Liska is a fierce, fiery and impetuous warrior-in-training who follows her own path, but is also desperate to earn approval from her family.  Lug is the lowliest of the mage classes and is a constant worrier and pessimist, yet he shows great courage despite his fear when protecting his friends.  Elowen is lonely and in need of friendship so, when she meets Liska and Lug, she is excited to take part in a quest and proves a font of knowledge.  Together, they take on a formidable foe and show great courage and determination when faced with the unknown, working together in their quest to save their world.

My proof copy has a gorgeous map (which I love referring to) and exquisitely detailed chapter heading illustrations. I have seen the finished copy, and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy which I’m hoping will be in my local bookshop this weekend!

The Treekeepers is an exhilarating, unputdownable adventure of courage, friendship and hope in a battle of light over dark:  a true masterpiece of epic fantasy – and hopefully the start of a new series!

Thank you to Bethany Carter and Faber Children’s for providing me with a proof copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

One thought on “MG Takes on Thursday

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