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on 10 June 2009
A fast paced story with lovely creative features. I loved the hounds, and the fiery dawn made for a other-worldly backdrop. Caro King could have added page after page developing many elements of the story, but resisted the temptation and the story is better for it - I'm left wanting more. I'm a China Mieville fan, but whereas his stories (mostly targeted at adults or older teens) are big on ideas some times at the expense of pace or brevity, Seven Sorcerers manages to have wonderful ideas and keep the story moving. The final stages do suddenly become multi-threaded with a plethora of new characters, but the pace keeps up and I liked the multi-thread end.
SarahP's review criticises Nin's lack of characterisation, but I like that as it eases me into seeing the world through her eyes - the younger target readers might not appreciate a story with extra angst/loss - I didn't find it a problem.
It's a stand alone novel, but I could imagine a sequel working well.
I really liked Seven Sorcerers - I'll read it to pre-teens or give it to young teens to read. Or for a much older reader like me! Great.
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on 30 April 2010
First off, I have to say I've been a little disappointed with the quality of the latest wave of children's novels. So thank God Caro King wrote this. It's everything a story should be: fun, fast-paced, dark, funny, and emotionally connected. And I could go on with the praise.

As the synopsis states, the story finds Nin in a desperate hunt for her brother (who all of a sudden doesn't exist) whilst being perused by a brightly-clad bogeyman. King uses multiple viewpoints to keep the story moving and the reader guessing, and does it with such class that the story never seems to linger in no man's land, boring the reader, a feature far too common in a lot of kid's books these days.

As the tale unfolds, Nin finds herself in a strange land called the Drift. The Drift is full of dark and wacky creatures, who you can never decide if you actually trust, yet also find hard to hate. Such is the quality of the writing.

Anyway, I don't want to bore you anymore, but hear me: This is a fantastic book for young and old kids alike, and even young and old adults.

Buy it.


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on 6 May 2011
What a pleasure to read such a unique book. There are so many fantasy novels out there which just seem to regurgitate the same themes, characters and plot lines so it was very refreshing to see such a new and fresh take on fantasy.

Yes there have been other world fantasies done already but it is the characters and quirky use of language that keeps this novel entertaining and fun.

When Nin's brother simply 'ceases to exist' she decides to find out what has happened and where he's gone. What she finds is a new world right on her own doorstep. Along her travels she will make new friends and create enemies. She will encounter sorcerers, bogeymen, tomb folk, hounds and mudmen. It is nicely paced and you can engage with the characters.

The only downside I could say is that the plot is quite predictable and it does become a bit of a muddle at the end, but the strength of the writing means that you can ignore this slight blip! It is still a cracking good read and I look forward to reading the next one.

I would recommend this to any fantasy lovers of any age and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
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on 16 March 2012
I was first drawn to the book by the picture of Skerridge, (one of the book's characters) i immediately liked it. Skerridge looked lke a human/pig/tree/beetle...... AWESOME!!!! The Seven Sorcerers is a great book, it is the most thrilling, fast paced story, that i have ever read!

The book is about a girl called Nin, who one day wakes up to find that her brother had ceased to exist, she then meets a Bogeyman, Skerridge, who is now out to get her, she then travels to a different dimention, The Drift, where she meets a boy called Jonas, who takes her on journey to find her brother, but there are dark things along the way. Will Nin and Jonas ever find Tony (Nin's brother) or will they never leave the dreaded place they enter....?

It was a tense read, where i was on the edge of my seat. The connection to the title and the book is well thought out and well written. I can't wait to read the next book. Praise for Caro King for writing such a marvellous book. I recommend this book for ages 11+.

This is a must read, get it and you won't be disappointed!
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on 12 November 2010
Well, what can I say ~ this is a totally awesome book!! I originally bought it for my 8 year old son, but am ashamed to say, I was drawn in by the irrisistible cover and that was it, I could not put it down, so much so that I actually made myself put it down for a few weeks to reflect on what I had already read, because I simply did not want it to end, that way, it would last! The way Caro describes the characters and the scenery and just the way the plot unfolds is just magical; I was totally gripped by the descriptions of the character, and felt like I was there!! ~ bearing in mind that I am a woman of 40, and this book is written for children, then of course, it is an easy read, but sometimes that is just what you need, to be able to float off into another dimension, without too much effort!! I would recommend this book for children and adults alike, and all I can say is, you won't regret it! I have ordered the next Caro King book and can't wait for it to arrive, I just wonder who will read it first, me or my son! ENJOY! =)
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on 31 March 2009
This is a book that sparkles with inventiveness and fun. I'd compare it to Neil Gaiman's work, except that I think it's even better. The writing is transparent, which means it doesn't get in the way, it serves as a clear window on the action. Some of the ideas here--the 'pearls' of memory, the Gabriel hounds, etc --are beautifully realized. With one exception the characterization is terrific; the bogeyman Skerridge is a particular highlight.

Two quibbles. One is that the main character, Nin, seems emotionally shallow. She has been separated from her life, her mother, her brother, and while she experiences occasional pangs of loss, her character doesn't seem all that profoundly affected. She's plucky and up for adventure, grinning all the while. I would have liked more depth there, more emotional resonance. Two is that the narrative splits into several different strands for the ending, not a good structural decision, in my opinion. The pace slows way down as a result, the plot itself wanders a bit instead of zooming along to its logical conclusion, and I ended up skimming to get back to the characters I really cared about.

On the whole, though, it's a satisfying, fun read.

Both of my kids, who are ages 9 and 13, read this book and loved it. We will most certainly look for the next book, and for more by this talented new author.
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I have been reading this in order to see if it is suitable for our Key Stage Two children for addition to our school library.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It tells the story of feisty Nin, a young girl who wakes up one day to find that a Bogey Man has stolen her young brother, and all the memories that everyone else has of him. She is determined to get him back, and finds a way to journey between her own reality, and a magical land of nightmare where her brother is being held captive.

I loved the way that the book mixes mythologies old and new to create a world that is fresh, and exciting. I love a girl heroine who has something about her and doesn't just swoon and expect others to do things for her. I love the unexpected twists and turns that the plot takes. The story was very satisfying indeed.

Although this reads as a stand alone story, there is a sequel. As soon as I had finished this book I ordered the sequel, and cannot wait for it to arrive. I will be putting this in our library after half term.
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on 16 May 2010
This is an excellent and beautifully written story that carries you along on an exciting adventure. The plot is clever, full of interest and incident, and yet is written in a style that is not over complicated and is a pleasure to read. In her first book Caro King has created a wonderfully vivid world full of some of the most imaginative ideas that I have read in many years. The characters, particularly Nin, Jonas, Skerridge and Jik, are fully formed and, even those who are up to no good, are likeable. The back story is also rich and so provides a fascinating framework within which this adventure is set. It all combines to produce a real treasure.

The second book, Shadow Spell, is now out and, having already read it, I can confirm that it takes this story on wonderfully and is if anything even better.
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on 11 November 2013
As other reviewers have mentioned, this is a fast paced well imagined story. Whilst the book deals a lot with fear, of the dark, of loss, of bogeymen, the fantastical and the sheer adventure save it from being a horror story.
The unfolding of the story of the seven sorcerors and the last gathering is well handled and told from a number of viewpoints which keeps it interesting
Great story!
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on 14 February 2010
This is a very good book. I don't want to tell the story but it is very unpredictable, you never know if it will be a total loss for the protagonist and how the theme will ever change. Nin is trying to find her brother and the search is very scary and like the first steps on an unknown land without any prior knowledge.
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