It’s time for another book review on my blog. I received “Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows” by JM Bergen back in March from Book Publicity Services and I have been meaning to write a review, but it has taken me a bit longer to read this book than I anticipated. I’m finally sitting myself down to do a review and to share my thoughts on this children’s fantasy novel.
The reason it took me a bit longer than usual to read, is that this book was the book I picked to read on my lunch break – this means I only had about 15-20 minutes a day to read it. And I do have to say that reading this book in short spurts made it a bit harder to get into, however, it also left me wanting more. It seemed every time my break was over, I was getting to the good part of the adventure!
Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a story full of magic. Thomas doesn’t know he has magic abilities, but he soon finds out because due to an advancing evil, he needs to be trained fast so he can help fight against it. Luckily for him, he is not alone, and he finds himself surrounded by others who have either magical abilities or the knowledge of such abilities that can help him learn at a rather fast pace. Can Thomas conquer these new talents before it’s too late?
I enjoyed reading about Thomas and his magical traits. It was a fun story although the urgency for Thomas to learn and conquer his abilities didn’t really feel so urgent to me. I knew he and his friends were fighting against time, but because we really didn’t see much of the villain in this tale, it didn’t feel as vital as it should. I think if we had also been privy to the villain’s perspective and saw how closely he was gaining on his goal, then when we read about Thomas and his difficulty to master his magic, we would have felt the tension of the situation. As it was, it felt more like light-hearted fun to see Thomas learning about magic than what should have been a stressful and demanding endeavor for Thomas.
The Book of Sorrows Thomas received from Huxley and Adelia was an interesting addition to the story, sharing with the reader how magic entered the world and it was fun to read along with Thomas as he discovered the story of Isham and the power behind the crystals. Although this was a very detailed way to explain the history of magic and of the crystals, it took up a large chunk of the book (up to page 164), and I think these narratives could have been melded a bit better into the story. As it was, they felt separate from the modern tale we were reading about Thomas and the connection they had to the latter part of the book.
The best part of the book was learning with Thomas and seeing the different things he could do with his newly discovered magical talents. I liked both Adelia and Huxley and their role in mentoring Thomas and I also enjoyed the character of Professor Reilly who kept the “normal” in a cast full of magical people and who added a bit of humor relief to the story as well. Overall, I think this was a good introduction to the world and character of Thomas Wildus!
Who should read this book? I think children from 8 through 11 or 12 years old will appreciate the magic aspects of this story. It’s simple enough for them to grasp, although The Book of Sorrows parts are written old English style – think King James version of the Bible – so they might have a problem understanding these bits as it doesn’t read as easily as the rest of the book. I, as an adult, had to read some of these sections twice. 😉 However, the story told is fascinating enough to keep the reader engaged through these areas.
I liked Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows and I’m looking forward to reading the second book JM Bergen wrote, Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria.
About the Author:
J.M.’s debut series originally started as a bedtime story for his oldest son. The story turned into a saga, and one book turned into five. The first book in the series, Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows, is scheduled for release in February 2019. The second, Thomas Wildus and The Wizard of Sumeria, will be published in early 2020, with the remainder of the series released before the end of 2021.
When J.M. isn’t working on the Thomas Wildus books, you can find him playing with his kids, splashing in the ocean, or dreaming up new adventures. If you ever meet him and can’t think of anything to talk about, you might ask about Herman the Shark, the Kai and Eli stories, or why Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip is his all-time favorite book. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have questions and stories of your own (if you do, he’ll think that’s far more interesting). To learn more, visit www.jmbergen.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Book Publicity Services. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.