by Allan Jones, illustrated by Gary Chalk
ISBN: 9780062006233Greenwillow Books, 2011
Reviewed from purchased copy.
Trundle doesn't think he's an adventurer. He's a lamplighter. He likes everything safe and cozy, and that's the way things are in his peaceful part of the Sundered Lands. Until Esmeralda barrels through his door.It's nice to find a fantasy that isn't over four hundred pages. Many students love the big thick ones, but not all of them can read those kind of books. This is an appropriate book for reluctant readers who need constant action to keep them reading. The action starts in chapter one with Trundle, a humble and content lamplighter, is abruptly drawn out of his peaceful life into a world of pirates, theft, and slavery. The action doesn't stop, leaving the reader waiting for the sequels (luckily the second book comes out in October).
Esmeralda, a princess with a knack for magic and for finding trouble, is convinced that Trundle is the only one who can help her find the six crowns. Lost and scattered long ago, the crowns could unite the Sundered Lands once again. But not if the pirates find them first.
Suddenly, Trundle is on the run. He becomes a stowaway, a drifter, a thief's accomplice, and a swordsman.Trundle may find that he is a true hero, after all . . . and that this is only the beginning of an epic journey.(http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9373635-the-six-crowns)
There was not a whole lot of description or world-building, which I found disappointing. I love to read in great detail about worlds both real and imaginary. The character-building is also rather sparse, the focus is on the action. I didn't feel like I knew much more about the characters than I did at the beginning. Some additional background would have been appreciated by myself. But like I mentioned above, the book works well for a reader who doesn't need those things and prefers lots of action.
The illustrations helped me visualize the world better than the text did on its own. The book as a whole reminds me of Brian Jacques' Redwall series, except for younger readers. I'd recommend this series for animal fantasy fans who aren't quite ready to tackle thicker more description-heavy tomes.