Hey everyone! We’ve moved Middle-Grade Monday over from our TBR and Beyond Facebook Group to the blog! Hopefully we can bring you lots of great reviews, topics and maybe even some author interviews!
I’m a massive middle-grade fan, and I’m always trying to get people to give it a shot! Hopefully these reviews will give you a better idea if you want to try out the books or not! That is the goal anyway!
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publisher: Puffin Canada
Published: August 6th 2019
Trigger Warnings: Animal violence (the animals help fight), death of a loved one, grief
Twelve-year-old Rowan is next in line to be Queen; her twin brother, Rhydd, to be Royal Monster Hunter. Rowan would give anything to switch places, but the rule is, the oldest child is next in line, even if she is only older by two minutes. She resigns herself to admiring her royal monster hunter aunt’s official sword and having tea with dignitaries with her mother, the queen. But a tragic event breaks up longstanding rules, and now Rowan finds herself in hunt of a dangerous gryphon.
Accompanied by a feisty and determined baby jackalope and a giant wolf that barely tolerates her, she sets off on a journey that will see her join forces with other unlikely allies: a boy who has ambitions of his own to hunt monsters, and a girl from a nearby clan with hidden motives for befriending Rowan. It will take all of Rowan’s skills, both physical and diplomatic, to keep this journey on track. The future of the kingdom depends on it. – Synopsis on Goodreads.
“The best way to raid a camp is divert attention. I am an expert at that. “
A Royal Guide to Monster Hunting has a lot to offer. We get a diverse cast of characters, a strong-willed, kick-ass princess turned monster hunter and a deadly enemy – the gryphon! Throw is some great friendships, lots of adventures and so many fun mythical creatures and you got yourself this great story.
I saw this pop up on the options to request over on Netgalley and I was instantly curious. The cover drew me in – I saw a bunch of fun looking creatures and that is always a big draw for me – not sure much regular animals because they always kill them – but if I see mythical creatures, I’m usually in. I was also familiar with the author and didn’t know her to write middle-grade at all, so that piqued my interest. I’ve liked her YA thriller work – I haven’t read her fantasy stuff, but I know it’s very popular. Lastly, the author is Canadian – bonus points! I decided to request it, luckily I was approved and had a chance to read this little gem of a story.
The story starts off where we meet our main protagonist, Rowan, a young princess who is destined to be queen but wants nothing to do with it and her brother, Rhydd, who by default must be the Royal Monster Hunter. Both of them know they should be in the others spot because Rowan is the better hunter and Rhydd is much better at politics, but rules dictate differently. As a Royal Monster Hunter, you must drive the creatures from civilization so that no one gets hurt – this sometimes means killing the creature. The biggest threat are the gryphons, highly dangerous and hard to kill. Without giving much away, Rhydd and his party run into a gryphon – many people are hurt, someone is killed and Rhydd is left without the ability to walk without an aid. This changes everything and so Rowan finally gets a chance to prove herself as a monster hunter – she has to find someone to train her and that is where the real journey begins.
Rowan is a fantastic character, she is headstrong, sometimes stubborn, intelligent, resourceful and kind. Yes, she makes many mistakes but she learns and grows from them. The lessons about kindness towards animals in beautiful in this story. Rowan has a knack for communicating with many of the creatures and sometimes they even follow her. She has a grumpy warg and a feisty jackalope in her party right off the bat, and I loved them with every inch of my being.
I would definitely recommend this story, it has a great adventure and some really fun humor and mythical creatures… did I mention the creatures?!?!!? Completely worth checking out and I believe this will be more than one book, but I’m unsure how many the author is planning on releasing.
Thank you to Puffin Canada and Netgalley for an e-arc, in exchange for my honest review.