What’s it all about?:
Super-villains. Hungry monsters. One kid to stop them all. Meet King Alfie: fourteen-year-old British monarch and Defender of the Realm. Alfie never expected to become king so young. He definitely didn’t expect to become a legendary superhero: the Defender. Which means fighting an ancient secret battle against mega-villains and evil monsters. All while grappling with adoring crowds, paparazzi and minders. Now the terrible Black Dragon is rising. Only Alfie can stop him. Think being a king is just about wearing a crown? Wrong.
What did I think?:
First of all, a big thank you to my fellow blogger Faye over at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts who asked me if I would like to be part of this tour and to the team over at Scholastic UK for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review. I can’t remember having read many books in the past, kid-lit or otherwise that were written by two people and I wasn’t quite sure how it would work but the writing team that is Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler is an undeniable force to be reckoned with for creating a story that is packed full of drama, adventure and excitement, a trip into a fantasy world that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Set in contemporary times, Defender Of the Realm is the first in a series that might make you look at the monarchy of the United Kingdom in a whole new light! Our main character and reluctant heir to the throne of Great Britain is Alfie, a fourteen year old boy that just wishes he was “ordinary,” and didn’t have the responsiblity of a kingdom resting on his shoulders. Alfie has a twin brother Richard and a little sister, Ellie but as he was born mere seconds before his twin brother so when his father the King passes away, the throne and all the power that comes with it will automatically revert to him. To make it worse, Alfie has always felt that his brother Richard would make a better king – he is popular, stronger and more sporty but unfortunately, rules are rules and Alfie must accept that one day he will be king.
Tragically, the young royals lose their father much earlier than anticipated from a heart attack (..or was it?) and Alfie must assume his role and lead the country. What Alfie isn’t expecting is the EXTRA roles that come with being King Alfred II, responsibilities that have been passed down from his ancestors and aren’t your run of the mill royal duties. Alfie is pulled into a whole new world of secrets, underground passages, magical powers and monsters that wreak chaos from the Thames right through to Edinburgh Castle. Along with his new friend Hayley, Alfie discovers that there is a lot more to being King and being a hero than he could ever have imagined and they must work together to prevent an malign and deadly force in its attempts to get ultimate power for itself and begin a reign of terror, destroying Great Britain as we know it.
This book was unbelievably exciting and I’m so glad I read it. The characters are wonderfully drawn, from the awkward and loveable Prince Alfie to his brave and intelligent friend Hayley whose efforts are instrumental in helping Alfie defend his country and her adorable Gran, who I had a real soft spot for. The plot is entertaining and action-packed with a monstrous being that children will love to hate and battle sequences that are simply breath-taking. I’m so pleased it’s the first in a series and look forward to reading hopefully many more adventures of our reluctant hero Alfie because believe me, when you get to the ending (and it’s a real humdinger of a cliffhanger!) you’re going to be desperate to read the next installment!
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):
Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler are Emmy and BAFTA-nominated screenwriters best known for writing popular TV shows such as Danger Mouse and Thunderbirds Are Go!
Mark’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/huckywucky
Nick’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/nickostler
A huge thank you to everyone involved in this blog tour, I’ve had a great time doing it. Why not check out the rest of the stops on the tour where you’ll find some fantastic reviews from my fellow bloggers. Defender Of The Realm was released on 3rd March 2016 by Scholastic UK and is available from all good bookshops now.
Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Defender-Realm-Nick-Ostler/dp/1407164236