Book Cover
Title The Kingdom Lights
Series ---
Author Steven V.S.
Cover Art ---
Publisher Neverland Publishing - 2014
First Printing Neverland Publishing - 2014
Category Middle Grade
Warnings None

Main Characters


Main Elements Wizards

In a world where cities float, airships sail the skies and mythical creatures are summoned in a pinch…Celes Vale is distinctly average. Living in the shadow of his talented cousin, his powerful aunt and uncle, Celes is resigned to his future of soot, factories and well, more soot.

But on the night of his twelfth birthday everything changes. A blinding light, a whispered voice and in an instant Celes becomes the first ordinary child in all of history to develop magic, sending him on a fast track ticket to Gardarel, the greatest of the floating cities.

Though some welcome Celes others want the dirt-ridden up-start off their city – preferably head first. Nowhere is this clearer than in beautiful and haughty Lady Ban and her sneering nephew Marcus Blackwood. But Blackwood, with his gang of goons and unimaginative one-liners, is soon the least of Celes’s problems.

With a little magic and a lot of detective work, Celes unravels the dark truth behind Lady Ban’s prim, perfect smile – an alliance to the villainous Wardens and the masked man who leads them. But in his bid to expose Lady Ban, Celes unwittingly stumbles on to an even darker conspiracy – the complete destruction of Gardarel itself.

This was a fun, light read about a boy who discovers he has magical powers, who lives in a world of floating cities and interesting creatures.

Talking of the interesting creatures, I would have liked to know more about some of them. Like the Lunar People, I didn't quite get what made them different from everyone else, including their special magic. Were they even human? The Wisps I'm guessing were not.

And of course one has to take for granted in a middle grade book that kids will be ignored by the adults, and have to take on saving the world on their own. Whether believable or not, its something that defines a book for this age group.

But I liked all the characters, and I must admit I didn't guess who was behind trying to revive the Wardens, though I pretty much knew who the red herring was.

World building is always important to me, and I loved the idea of the floating city, and the magical schools, and the different levels of society. The only thing I felt that was missing was that while the students learned about the ground below, and Europe and America was mentioned, we don't really find out how the floating cities came to be. After all this is clearly our world, so what's with the magic, and the strange creatures, and what happened to the people down below? I felt some background was lacking here. But the book is short so there wasn't much room for filling in all the holes.

But none of those questions took away from my enjoyment of the book and would be happy to read more if this turns into a series.

...and for all those people who call any book where a kid discovers magical powers, or goes to a magical school, a Harry Potter knockoff...well that reflects on them rather than the book, Rowling didn't exactly invent the concept, there were others before Harry, and there's no reason why there shouldn't be any after.

Posted: April 2015


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