Title: The Ballad of Captain Thatch
Author: Leah Price
Genre: Children's fantasy
Series: 2nd in the Faire Pendant series
Rating: 5 stars
Glenna’s life is anything but ordinary. The daughter of Renaissance festival vendors, Glenna’s days are filled with magic and medieval reenactments as she travels the faire circuit with her family. Then one day, Glenna’s life changes forever. With the help of a pendant, she discovers Otherworld. An enchanted realm, Otherworld is the land in which all of the myths and magic woven by the Renaissance players comes to life! To make things even more complicated, it’s pirate weekend at the festival! The faire grounds are crawling with pirates, both in the real world and Otherworld. And, as Glenna quickly discovers, the pirates can do real damage in both worlds. Can Glenna stop the marauding pirates? Can she become the pirate queen the residents of Otherworld need her to be? And, perhaps most importantly, can she find a way to juggle both her life in the real world and Otherworld without damaging either?
I was delighted to once again be invited into Glenna's world, having already visited when reading The Tale of Atterberry, the first in the Faire Pendant series. The Ballad of Captain Thatch definitely did not disappoint, if you couldn't tell by the rare 5 stars I awarded it!
The writing of the book was perfect for its audience and although I'm not a child, I still enjoyed it. It wasn't predictable or over-simplified, but it wasn't too adult for young readers. The book had a promising and wonderful sort of magic to it throughout and stepping into Glenna's shoes made it feel like I was a kid experiencing the magic all over again.
The plot was well established and engaging, having you hooked throughout so you want to keep reading. The chapters were also great lengths, not too long, not too short - perfect for bedtime reading. I also thought the transitions between Otherworld and the real world were made very smoothly. I liked both worlds, which meant I was kept excited throughout and not just in certain chapters.
The characters, as always were fun and realistic. The old characters matched their traits from the first book and I found I had missed them, which is always a sign of a great character. The new characters were easy to envision and they were all relevant to the plot and brought a new lesson to the overall message of the book. (I particularly liked Ash and Grace).
I thought the whole book as a concept matched up well with the first in the series but brought something new so it wasn't repetitive. There was an original spin to the book, merging fictional ideas all together in a rather marvellous mixture that is great for the imagination and really quite entertaining. To see sprites and magicians alongside pirates was nothing short of cognitively spectacular.
The morals and lessons learnt from the book and the attitudes and manners of the characters were perfect for children. The sense of friendship, adventure and comradery is something that every child should have access to both fictionally and in the real world. If you're looking for a great read with your children or to reintroduce some adventure back into your life I would highly recommend the Faire Pendant Series, they are a triumph.
P.S click the link to check out my review of The Tale of Atterberry - the first in the series