This is a classic good overcoming evil novel aimed at children / young adults from age 10 to 76½.
The story revolves around a thirteen-year-old boy, Thomas Jones who is taken from his home in South Wales into the magical land of Trymyll by a purple dragon named Howel.
Tom doesn’t believe in magic, wizards or dragons but is led on a pathway of discovery by various characters including his own father who, unknown to Tom, is a very powerful wizard called Llewellyn the Brave. He has not seen his father since he was two weeks old or his brother Jonathan who was two when they left. Subsequently there is a lot of emotion and angst in their meeting.
The story revolves around four main themes.
1. Tom’s training as an acolyte and the development of his own powers of magic.
2. The problem of the magic which is slowly disappearing in Trymyll.
3. Tom and his brother Jonathan who is 2 years his senior and a couple of dragons which become their partners
4. The Master, an evil wizard from another land who seeks to dominate or destroy the land of Trymyll. In this first book, Magic is restored to Trymyll, and The Master is defeated but not destroyed so that he may return in the second book. Also, another ‘baddy’ is left for future stories, Llewel, formerly a High Elder who’s obsession with his own self importance led to his downfall.
Tom’s mother, who does not feature much in this first book will be a major player in book two as she travels with Llewellyn and her boys back to Trymyll. She is a ‘hidden wizard’ who appears as just an ordinary and non-magical mother until well into the story when she steps out and reveals herself to the boys as an accomplished and powerful wizard.
Most of the names used for people, wizards, castles and cities are of Welsh origin. There is both ethnic and gender diversity in the first book which is reinforced in the second book with more ethnic and strong female characters.
There is a lot of humour in the book and some angst and pathos to balance it out. The story is fast paced with relatively short chapters in keeping with the age group it is targeting. The book is completely clean with no hint of sex, swearing or other issues which may offend.
Word total 87,000.