Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince by Dan Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince is such a fun read! It's filled with action, magic, lovable heroes and memorable villains I've come to expect from Dan Wright, whose adult novels I've been a fan of for some time. This story, however, is most appropriate for the older elementary and middle school crowd.
The book centers around Amanda Moonstone, a young sorceress with quite a sad recent past. She lost a baby, and went a bit mad. Her fiance left her, and now she's struggling to make ends meet by selling potions to the locals in the village. Trouble is, she's not always great at that job, so she ends up with irate customers. She's also behind on the rent and is on the brink of being evicted. While out hunting for potion ingredients, she stumbles upon a young boy, Daryl, whose village was destroyed by the evil king. She soon discovers a reward poster for the boy's return. That money could pay all her debts and then some.
But...Daryl is in fact a missing prince, and returning him to the king will in fact put his life in danger. Poor Amanda has quite the dilemma. The plot reveals how she struggles with this and the choices she must make.
Like Dan's other manga-inspired writings, this one has illustrations sprinkled throughout that complement the story very well. There are also ties to his adult Draconica series, along with a few innuendos that adults and those who know Dan are likely to enjoy. The characters have the over-dramatic flair of what you might expect from a Disney film, with the villain being despicable enough to hate without being so scary as to give young readers a nightmare.
While the story itself follows a rather predictable arc for adult readers, there is at least one nice twist that I particularly enjoyed. The writing is well-edited, tight, and paced well enough to hold my attention. It's definitely a story I'd recommend for youngsters or adults who enjoy a light, whimsical read.
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