Author: Adam Jay Epstein and Adam Jacobson
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Copy provided by: publisher
Summary (via Goodreads):
After three young wizard apprentices are kidnapped by the evil queen of a distant land, it is up to their familiars, their magical animal companions -- a street smart alley cat, a precocious blue jay, and a bumbling tree frog -- to save them.
Why I read this: I thought The Familiars looked like a fun, middle grade fantasy and it's also a debut novel.
Plot: A Typical fantasy plot - three human wizard apprentices are captured and the familiars must save them. Definitely full of twists, as Aldwyn has to hide his secret of having no magical abilities. Action-packed with time to build relationships, The Familiars is a great middle grade fantasy that many kids and teens will get a kick out of.
Characters: I really loved Aldwyn. He's an alley cat and his story is sort of the old rags-to-riches type scenario. Aldywyn is at the right place at the right time and finds himself becoming a familiar. He no longer need to con a meal daily and finds himself attached to his human counterpart. The other familiars provide a great trio of budding friends: Skyla - a bluejay who is interested in human magic, and Gregory - a tree frog who is mostly concerned with catching flies. Both have their own abilities to bring to the table.
Relatability: I think that anyone can see the rag-to-riches and rescue plot lines and compare it to other age-old stories they have read growing up. Also, the humor used in the novel also helps the reader relate to the characters. Definitely was a great read and one I would highly recommend to my students.
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