I have recently read this fun, action packed MG fantasy by the brilliant duo Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler, Defender Of The Realm which is released today on the 3rd March 2016 and I loved ever page of it! I am so over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for this book!
For my stop on the blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the book and post a review!
A huge thank you to Faye Rogers , Mark Huckerby, Nick Ostler and Scholastic for having me on this wonderful tour and for sending me the book to read.
Super-villains. Hungry monsters. One kid to stop them all. Meet King Alfie: fourteen-year-old British monarch and Defender of the Realm. Alfie never expected to become king so young. He definitely didn’t expect to become a legendary superhero: the Defender. Which means fighting an ancient secret battle against mega-villains and evil monsters. All while grappling with adoring crowds, paparazzi and minders. Now the terrible Black Dragon is rising. Only Alfie can stop him. Think being a king is just about wearing a crown? Wrong.
Publisher – Scholastic UK
Published – 3rd March 2016
Pages – 340 pages
Format – Paperback and E-book
Category – MG Fantasy
Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful people at Scholastic as part of the blog tour organised by Faye Rogers. This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review. Thank you Scholastic for sending this to me to read and to Faye for organising!
** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Defender Of The Realm, but as soon as it came through the post I skim read the first few pages fully intrigued and I was immediately drawn into a world that mixed the real world and fantasy world flawlessly and all with some historical facts, humour and well known United Kingdom landmarks too!
Defender Of The Realm tells the story or Alfie who is a reluctant heir to the thrown and who finds himself thrust into the limelight to take on his duty a little earlier in life than he would have thought. What Alfie doesn’t expect is the extra responsibilities that come with it… you know the kind of thing…Crown Jewels, Paparazzi, BECOMING AN AWESOME SUPERHERO CALLED THE DEFENDER AND SAVING THE WORLD FROM THE BLACK LIZARD! When Alfie becomes King he discovers a whole new duty to his country that is steeped in history and kept a secret for many years. And when the evil Black Lizard seems unstoppable Alfie has to learn to protect his country, be King and be The Defender, but is Alfie the right person for the job?
This book is a real page turner!
I loved the feel of this book. It felt so very British. I loved the way even though the characters are fictional I felt like I was taking a sneaky peak behind the scenes of the actual royal family. That’s how real the characters came across for me. I loved the references to historical landmarks or traditions which I recognised like The Tower Of London, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey and the tradition of a Coronation and who knew there was a volcanoes under Edinburgh Castle 😉
You will never look at a Beefeater…I mean Yoeman Warder the same ever again after reading this book…..oh the secrets that they possibly hold!
It really reads like a film. You could picture the scenes playing out on the screen in front of you.
*Hints for someone to make this into a TV show or film immediately*
To top all of this off this book was not only packed with a brilliant action packed plot and brilliant story line it also had a brilliant cast of superb characters.
I adored Alfie right from the action packed off set! He is heir to the thrown, but doesn’t want to be treated as such and just wants to be a normal boy who can go out for pizza when he wants to. As a reader I think you really feel for Alfie and you really want him to do well. You see him grow and mature slightly throughout the book almost like becoming the superhero Defender brings something out in him that he never knew was there.
I also loved Hayley so so much. The girl who looks after her gran who is thrust into the middle of the world of Alfie, The Defender and the Black Lizard when a trip to The Tower Of London with her gran turns into a battle and she finds a keeps a piece of the Black Lizards tail! Hayley was awesome. She says what she thinks and doesn’t give two hoots what people think. She is honest, caring, funny and demands her voice to be heard. The friendship between Hayley and Alfie is a friendship that would last forever.
That’s another thing about this book. It made me laugh and giggle in places. There are some classic one liners or comedic moments that really make you grin like a Cheshire cat beaming from ear to ear and make you love these characters and the story even more.
There were two characters especially that did just this for me… Brian and L.C. Oh how I want them to have their own spin off or sketch show. They were absolutely brilliant fun. Always at Alfie’s side, but in roles of responsibility. Brian was the more carefree of the two trying to always tell the “bad smell under his nose” L.C to give Alfie and often Hayley a break. I loved how L.C was so traditional and does things by the book and when this does not go to plan he is all out of sorts. But they both have Alfie’s back. They were a brilliant comedy duo. They kind of reminded me a little of Jeeves and Wooster or Hacker and Humprey from Yes Prime Minster.
The scene where L.C takes Alfie into the secret passage from Buckingham Palace to the Tower to a secret under ground lair had me in absolute stitches! There’s Alfie who is experiencing this for the first time and being told to get in a small carriage as it’s quicker and there’s L.C all laid back like he’s about to board the train with his newspaper. It’s a brilliant scene.
Also a little shout out to the badies….. Fulcher and Turpin the so called MI5 agents who would give the two wet bandits from Home Alone a run for their money and who I hope will make an appearance in book two.
And there’s the Black Lizard!
*quakes in boots*
*runs and hides*
Yes that’s right there is apparently going to be a book two and I cannot wait! I need this book now! Especially with the jaw dropping cliff hanger to end all cliff hangers that this book finished on! I almost felt the authors write that last line with glee mixed with an extremely evil laugh 😉
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves an action packed, superhero read that will make you turn the page and laugh, but also make your heart beat and with all with a little twist along the way that I for one didn’t see coming.
I award this book 5 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!
You can buy Defender of the Realm (Defender of the Realm #1) here
Or why not add it to Goodreads here
About Mark Huckerby & Nick Ostler
Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler are Emmy and BAFTA-nominated screenwriters best known for writing popular TV shows such as Danger Mouse and Thunderbirds Are Go!
You can find out more about Mark & Nick on their website www.ostlerandhuckerby.com
Monday 29th February
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Have you read Defender Of The Realm? What did you think? Has this review made you want to go grab a copy? I would love to here from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!
Happy Reading and defending the country!