I would like to thank the publisher, Spencer Hill Press, for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not cloud my opinions in any way.
A well written middle school fantasy novel., The Kelpie brings to life so many things that children that age love to read about. There are fairy tales, folklore, ghosts, talking animals, dangerous situations and all narrated by an eleven year old girl. Readers of all ages will get swept up in to this story.
I wanted to give this book a full five stars, but am unable to. There are areas in the story that are just too drawn out, which I fear may make some readers put it down, and the fact that the girl involved is only eleven just doesn’t fit the character. I could see her as fifteen or sixteen, but at eleven I really don’t think she’d be taking on a Kelpie and then hiding it from her mom and dad.
Other than the above, the author sets up the characters very well. The description of them makes you feel like you are actually there with them all, you can make flesh out of them and they aren’t just one dimensional. The same goes for the scenery. At first I had a little hard time getting situated with the castle and stables, but before I knew it, I was very comfortable with everything. I also applaud the author in having a Cast of Characters at the beginning of the book. I referenced it quite a few times at the beginning just to educate myself on who’s who. I wish more authors did this when they have a huge characters base. At the end of the book, the author also has a type of glossary that explains some things a bit more, i.e. animal spirits and such. This will work extremely well for the newer reader.
I recommend this to all readers of light fantasy from ages 12 through adult. It’s a fun read that will not disappoint and will encourage reading of other books in the genre. This is the debut book from this author, and I look forward to further YA books from her.