Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

The Mad Apprentice The Mad Apprentice
by Django Wexler

Supplied for review by Random HouseNew Zealand

Reviewed By: Jacqui Smith

This is one of those children’s books that is eminently suitable for adult readers of fantasy. It is the sequel to “The Forbidden Library” and in my opinion, is quite probably the better book – certainly in terms of structure, and is possibly even more imaginative.

One of the old Readers, Esau-of-the-Waters, is dead, something which simply does not happen naturally. Murder is suspected, and the likely culprit is his apprentice, Jacob. As is the custom, a group of other apprentices are sent to Esau’s realm to find out what happened and to bring Jacob to justice. Alice isn’t entirely unhappy about being included, since she might find clues as to what happened to her lost father. But it soon becomes evident that something in Esau’s realm is intent on killing the apprentices. Don’t ask me why, but I was reminded of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. All those towers. And as for the apprentice, yes, it does appear he is indeed quite mad.

I would not give this book to a child prone to nightmares, there is too much here to feed bad dreams, but otherwise it’s a fun read for fantasy-lovers of all ages.

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