The Dragon’s Eye (Erec Rex Book 1) by Kaza Kingsley
Short Review: Entertaining fantasy in which a 12 year old boy discovers a parallel but hidden world of magic. Fun characters plus a great reader makes for a captivating audio book.
Long Review: Kingsley has created a rich tapestry of a world which our protagonist Erec and his new friend Bethany must learn to navigate in order to find and rescue his mother. There are many mysterious things going on, and Erec and Bethany make a great team (along with a few other new friends) to unravel what must be done while finding their proper place in this new world. There are some nice messages here about taking advantage of your own gifts and doing the right thing for others. Jones is a great reader with distinct voices for each character and good pacing.
While some may look at Erec Rex and only see a Harry Potter clone, I found an inventive, fun story about a young man discovering a magical world in which things are not quite right. Yes, Erec is twelve and has to go through a magical competition in which he must compete with much more advanced magical children (some of whom are mean bullies), but there is plenty to this story to distinguish it from the world of Hogwarts.
The best plug I can give for this book is that my six year old son absolutely loved it. He was willing to sprawl on the floor of the living room for hours listening intently. Attempts to turn off the book were greeted with tears and pleading for more. One thing to note is that my son rated The Dragon’s Eye as ‘less scary’ than Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (which in my son’s world was a good thing). While he only got a few chapters into the 2nd Harry Potter book before setting it aside – he flew through the next 2 Erec Rex books. When I catch up to him I will post reviews of them here of course!