Defender of the Realm by Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby (Scholastic)
Alfie, small and seemingly invisible, heir to the throne by his status as elder twin by ten seconds, feels that he is not equipped to become King. It appears that nobody else thinks he is the right choice either. However, Alfie’s fate is out of his hands and in the blue blood soaring history to which he is born, as he learns….
From the cover, I expected ‘Defender of the Realm‘ to take me on a Fantastic Four type of adventure. In some ways, it does, but it is so much more! Alfie is a sympathetic character, his emergent relationships with Brian, LC and Hayley, tender and unrealised, as yet, his fears and isolation, evident. The British setting is thrilling; how long has it been that we’ve enjoyed a genuinely new, ripe for further development superhero who works for the good of his people and his land, against forces of historical darkness? I bet Boris would love such a chance!
The story is rip-roaring, fun, warm and encouraging; and it offers relevant historical back stories. Rather like Alfie aboard Wyvern, I felt upended by this fabulous book and recommend it highly. Bronnie http://bookwagon.co.uk/product/defender-of-the-realm/