Published in: 2009
Genre: Adventure, fantasy, children’s
Book #: 1 in the Sebastian Darke series.
Sebastian is an unfunny unemployed court jester. Following in his fathers footsteps, he has set off to a new land in order to become employed as a court jester, to send money home to his poor mother, left widowed recently. Together with his Buffalope Max, this 17 year old half-elf, half-human sets off across the unknown to find his potential future employement, at the court of King Septimus of Keladon. Along the way, he meets the diminutive Captain Cornelius Drummel, also seeking employment with King Septimus. Joining forces, these three take on brigands and wild beasts to save the fair princess Kerin, earn favour with the court, and ultimately save the kingdom of Keladon from evil forces.
Oh, how I love my random op-shop book purchases. I honestly find some of the best books in second-hand stores and swapmeets and other such places, and always at such bloody good prices! This $2 gem drew me in, because it looked to be about pirates (I obviously did not read the blurb well enough, because that is book #2, not this one. Sigh) but, instead of being disappointed by the lack of pirates, I became intrigued by the sarcastic Buffalope Max, and the weirdly oblivious Sebastian, who is somehow unfunny yet seriously skilled. Princess Kerin annoyed me, but she did show herself to be a decent person after a while. I still hate the ending though- I love nothing more than a happy ending where the characters end up happily ever after, and this, this is not that.
Also, Cornelius is damn awesome. He’s small, he’s cheery, he’s a scary fighter, he is just awesome. Him and Max make this book, they honestly do. Sebastian is a bumbling love-sick fool without those two. I really want to find the second book now and give that a whirl, because it’s ABOUT PIRATES!!!!
Sebastian Darke Prince of Darkness review: 8/10. Bloody good show, this book was. Especially given it was written for a much younger audience, I often find the young adult books these days are just plain bad, but this was a nice change from the norm.
Would I re-read it? Yes I would. It was fun, action filled, simple yet complicated, it was just a good book.
Who would I recommend it to? This book would appeal to young boys I think- it’s adventure and fun and a little madness, it really is a young boy’s type of book. One that I think a dad could read to his son and not get bored by. Or older guys, perhaps. I certainly enjoyed it, so it’s one of those adventure type stories that really could appeal to a wide audience.
Author’s website: http://www.philip-caveney.co.uk/
There appears to be three books in this series, so I have two more to find and devour. Challenge ACCEPTED!