I’m having to work really hard to remember to post about every book I read, I may be boring you but I want to force myself to do this, I’m curious what this blog will look like after a year or so =D
Book #3: Muddle Earth
By Paul Stewart, Illustrated by Chris Riddell (Teen Fantasy. Okay tween, but it’s REALLY a good book!)
No, I didn’t spell it wrong, this isn’t actually a fact book about Middle Earth, it’s a 447 page book about Muddle Earth, the place where anything can happen.
I’ve read this book before, probably when I was 14 or so and I loved it, so when I saw it at a used bookstore while on holiday this year I bought it. Yes, i bought it. Don’t just go to the library for this one, it’s worth a purchase. If you’re into silliness, fantasy, and wizards who can’t perform spells that is…
I like this book because it’s so nice and silly. It’s a bit of a play on Lord of the Rings, but it’s not really that obvious and it’s not like a parody or anything. Okay so Frodo and Joe rhyme and so do Gandalf and Randalf, but Doctor Cuddles and Sauron DO NOT ryhme! (Just in case you missed the rhyming class in grade 2 there…)
The message of the story is also really good, it’s about bravery and heroism coming from within, not being something you earn, or buy. It’s about an ordinary kid becoming a hero (in a fantastical world yes, but still!) and the silliness if it really fun and keeps you entertained as you read.
Another big highlight for me is Chris Riddell’s illustrations, I LOVE this guy’s illustrations. He’s a really good artist and I’m a sucker for pictures in books so his stuff is really a win-win for me.
I’m not sure if this book comes in a paperback, but I know that in the hardcover, just like the LOTR books, theres a map of the story’s world. I love this because I can follow along with where the characters are going and gage distances and stuff and I’m a nerd so I like that.
Oh and do note, LOTR is a bit of a tough read. Don’t get me wrong, great books but they can be a little hard to get through and they’re very long. Muddle Earth is long but it’s a very light read, it doesn’t take long to get through, don’t worry!
**SPOILERS** (A Quick and Basic Summary)
Joe Jefferson is a normal kid in normal Earth struggling to write that dreaded essay on “My Amazing Adventure”. Frustrated he takes his dog Henry for a walk and finds himself suddenly transported into a houseboat in the middle of a floating lake facing a not-very-big ogre and a wizard with a budgie in his hat. The wizard, Randalf, has called Joe to Muddle Earth to become its new Warrior Hero. Joe the Barbarian, a very reluctant warrior hero is taken about Muddle Earth by Norbert (the not-very-big ogre), Randalf (the wizard who is really only an apprentice, but shh! don’t tell!), and Veronica (the sarcastic budgie). He saves Muddle Earth from an angry Ogre (who really just lost his snuggly-wuggly), a greedy Dragon (who turns out to be very nice and gives Joe a lovely warrior-hero outfit from her treasure), and ultimately, from the evil villain, Doctor Cuddles (who, SPOILER, is really just a teddy bear that the apprentice Randalf tried a spell on). Joe saves all the wizards of Muddle Earth and finally get returned home by one of the wizards he saved (because Randalf was just an apprentice and shouldn’t have known how to call Joe there in the first place but he stole the written-down-copy of the spell, unfortunately any hero he called was stuck in Muddle Earth because he didn’t steal the returning-warrior-hero spell. Turns out it was just “Home”).
Overall: 9 out of 10 stars. I like this book, even if it is a bit young for me ;D
So ya, that’s Muddle Earth. Muddlingly clear?
Talk to ya soon!