Reviewed by Christian C. for TeensReadToo.com
Every year, the Manananns spend their bucolic summers together at Uncle Will's country house in Maine; a little cabin in the woods with no television or cell phone signal. But this summer is not going to be like the others. This summer, Uncle Will will disappear, and when Darren and Jackie try to find out where he is, they'll also find out the Manannan's darkest secret: the story of the Traitor King.
As Darren and Jackie suspected, Uncle Will leaves them some clues on how to find him. But following those clues turns out to be more difficult and more dangerous than they thought. The first clue takes them to the library, where a nervous and weird acting librarian greets them. Then a spooky old man who looks like a skeleton chases them all over town. The last clue will take them to the tallest tree in the woods, the tree that will take them to the incredible and different world ÂÂÂÂ-- Tavare.
What is this new world? And how can it be so different and yet feel so familiar? Will Darren and Jackie find Uncle Will there? Will they ever make it back?
You MUST read this book. There's no doubt (and let me assure you of this) you'll be glad you did. And, if you're like me, when you finish, you'll be desperately asking Todd Mitchell for the sequel.
To be honest, when I first received this book to review, I was a little worried because I'm not a big fan of fantasy novels. But after reading Todd Mitchell's fantastic debut novel, I have a completely different view about the entire genre.
So why did it take me over a month to write this review? The answer is simple: it's because I wanted to find the right words to tell readers just how much I liked it, and how much I enjoyed the author's descriptions, and how after reading them, I could close my eyes and see exactly what he was seeing, and how badly I wanted to go to this wonderful land that he had created, and how much I enjoyed traveling between the worlds of fiction and non-fiction, where reality meets fantasy, and how much I enjoyed the adventures and the tension, and the excitement of this whole new world.
I hope I succeeded, and that you won't go another day without visiting Tavare.