This book has been living in my Kindle app for ages. From memory, it was the amazing cover (which I love) that caught my initial attention, and it finally made its way to the top of my reading list last month. Gladius is a coming of age story set in a fantasy world that is abound with magical creatures, dragons, and an evil tyrant, Mulhurt.
Gladius embarks on a journey of tradition, where he must endure a month in the forest to mark the milestone of moving from childhood into adulthood. His time in the Longwood Forest takes a turn when he encounters a magical creature and overcomes its attack. He befriends a traveller, Flint, and together they decide to take action against Mulhurt to free the people from his tyranny. They soon cross paths with another brave teen, Ellie, who joins their quest with her own brand of bravery and skills.
This is a classic quest of a protagonist on a life changing journey, where he must overcome a series of challenges in order to win a prize that will enable his family to pay their taxes. The rite of passage already provides enough stress for our young hero (given that his siblings before him set an outstanding precedent for him to live up to), but add in the future well-being of your family and you have another level of anxiety for him to deal with.
Although it’s not a new idea, and there was nothing that blew me away in terms of action or excitement, I did enjoy following Gladius on his journey. I think Gladius 1 is an engaging book that avid fantasy MG readers will enjoy. I am planning to read book 2 soon(ish).
In a Nutshell:
Gladius is a tale that I think the target audience of MG readers will enjoy. It’s an engaging opening to a series that is a satisfying read.