Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Review Is In :: The Prodogals - Giants in the Land by Clark Rich Burbidge


Award winning author, Clark Burbidge, returns with another superb piece of juvenile fiction in the form of his second novel - The Prodigals - of The Giants of the Land series. This novel is also illustrated by Karl C. Hepworth.

During Burbidge's first novel, The Way Things Were, our hero, Thomas, overcomes trials as he travels the unknown lands seeking out the town's missing giant friends. Along the way, Thomas learns that no matter how small we may be, we all have the capacity to be giants so long as we live like them, as a giant's heart is measured by his deeds for others.

In The Prodigals, our hero, Thomas, once again finds himself facing a threat not only to his land, but to his very way of life. This time, however, Thomas is much older and wiser, as well as the Land's Forest Ward. He has two grandchildren, Tommy and Rose, who unknowingly will become the saviors of the land.

Throughout the land, raiders have begun attacking towns and taking whatever they please, including people. Tommy's sister, Rose, is taken captive during one such raid by a man named Big John to be pressed into slavery. Tommy is eager to save his sister and in turn save the land. But, he cannot do it alone and must call upon his grandfather, Thomas, his giant friend, Earthwatcher, and a lost band of prodigals. Together, they can move mountains.

Excerpt: My mother is a wise and beautiful woman, so perhaps you are partly right. She taught me that we cannot runaway from who we are becoming. We carry it with us. What I carry is something worth having. You act like you carry nothing. I don't believe it. Surely in the past you have felt hope born of mercy. I sense in you a spark of hope that may still help you become something of greater worth...(Rose to Big John)

What I love most about Burbidge's juvenile novels is that they are clean and pure and very different from the majority of literature for this age range. I often have to review books my boys bring home from the library and several times say, "I'm sorry, but you can't read this as it is inappropriate." I definitely do not have to do this with Burbidge's books.

My eldest son (7th grader) recently read this novel and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He felt the novel was a toned down version of Ranger's Apprentice and Robin Hood.

I'd personally recommend this book for sixth graders and above. 

Included in this book was an illustrated map of the land, as well as a sneak peek of book three in the series.

Clark Burbidge's next novel out is book three of Giants of the Land series. It will be titled The Cavern of Promise. You can keep up with the Giants here.

 {I was provided a copy of this novel to review by the publishing house: PR by the Book, LLC.}

1 comment:

  1. Michelle, Thank you for taking time to both read and review my new book. I thought your insights were profound and especially liked Rose's quote which is very central to the dynamics of one of the books characters, Big John. I am so pleased your son enjoyed the book and would be happy to provide some copies and a "Live with the Heart of a Giant" shirt or two for giveaways. Further, if you would contact me on my website I would love to send to your son a shirt free of charge just to say thanks.

    Best Wishes,

    Clark Burbidge