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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 November 2012
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe meets Tolkien.

This is a paging turning children's book with a pace for all ages including adults. I read it & I was entranced with a secret world full of drama and surprises - one is reminded of a simpler and kinder childhood era.

Short enough for younger kids and long enough for teenagers - we are ready for the sequel already. Where will the Palace Library lead to?
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on 15 December 2012
This fusion of magic,adventure and excitment is a breathtaking novel that you can't put down. I loved the Palace Library and read it in about two days. I protested about going on a dog walk because I wanted to carry on! I recommend this book to any children who love Harry Potter and The Cronicles of Narnia or any others who love a good book. Join Grace, Harry, Eleanor and Sophie the dog on a magical adventure!
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on 21 February 2016
I loved this book, It was a special story which I found magical and adventurous. I went straight on to read book two. I thought this book was a bit like narnia. I loved the way they found the library and it takes them on adventures,I used to love books like this when I was younger and still love them now love being transported to a magical land loved it well done.
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on 8 February 2016
The Palace Library is an interesting story aimed towards children, which is really let down by the writing. While the story still shines through, at times the writing felt old fashioned, and didn't really capture the voice need to be a hit with younger readers. Constantly calling the three main characters "the children" came across as almost patronising, while reading about them smoking and drinking mead may be a sore point for parents.

The description of the story grabbed me, which is why I chose to request it in the first place. In a similar vein to Narnia, three children stumble upon a magical library and armed with books and a pet dog they set off on an adventure, seeking to forge a new sword for a medieval kingdom. There's a sea journey, dragons and an evil villian and while I was entertained enough I found myself wishing for a better writer or even a good editor. Some parts were too rushed, while others dragged on.

Ultimately, I couldn't recommend this book until it had been to a good editor and completely rewritten. The set up was clunky at best and needed fleshing out a lot more, and at less than 200 ages this could easily be done to make the story better.
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on 7 November 2012
I read this cover to cover and couldn't put it down. It transported me into their magical world. My children can't wait for the sequel. They love Tolkien and Potter and we can now add a Loveridge to the list.
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on 2 February 2016
I recieved a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Palace Library is an action-packed children's book full of magic. It goes straight into the action and immediately drew me in. One of the three main characters, Grace, stumbles across a painting that seems to move, leading to a secret library that seems to have a mind of its own, full of magical books. What a great premise!

The plot follows a standard 'quest' storyline, but the clumsiest part of the book is the setup of the quest. There are multiple characters involved who don't really affect anything or add to the story, nobody really explains what's going on and all sorts of key plot devices (magical books and items, given to aid them on their quest) are just thrown out there. Even as an adult I felt like the purpose wasn't clear for far too long. A little bit of mystery is great, but this was too much confusion. Not to mention 'The Witan', some kind of mysterious council that really should've been removed from the story with how little they added to it!

Once the quest is clear, the plot takes off. I would recommend this as a good book to read aloud for parents or teachers, it's simple enough to follow but also packed with great vocabulary. There are lots of cliffhangers at the chapter ends and with the exception of the quest set-up, it's quite fast paced.

My main issue with the story, however, and the reason it has only 3 stars, is the gender representation in the book. There is a complete lack of interesting, well thought out, positive female characters. Of the four adult female characters we see in the book, two are nasty to the children and described as unattractive (Horrible Hair Bun and Miss Comely). The third, Queen Eleanor, is condescending, giving the children 'withering look's and considering them fools, and the fourth, Anwen, finally a positive character, has no purpose except to support her husband and is gone a few pages later. That's all a disappointment, but with 2 of the 3 main characters being young girls, you'd think that would make things better. Whilst Grace and Eleanor are interesting characters, they come across clearly as second to Harry. They are the navigator and the healer, whilst Harry, for seemingly no reason except his gender, is of course the one who carries out the dangerous task and who receives the reward at the end of the quest.

Overall this book with its exciting premise showed so much potential, but I was left a little disappointed.
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on 3 March 2016
Hott Review of The Palace Library:
Loved it!
What I liked: I enjoyed The Palace Library so much that I bought copies for my middle-grade readers before I was even finished!
I loved that The Palace Library is about a brother, sister, and their cousin. It starts at their uncle’s home in the country. It almost feels like a more comfortable and peaceful Narnian beginning. They do jump right into the adventure though and there aren’t any slow or drawn out areas that will bore reluctant readers.
While it’s not a Christian book, they do discuss how prayer helps to put away fears.
All in all, The Palace Library is one of the best middle-grade books I’ve read that will appeal to both boys and girls.
What I didn’t like: The only sections that may offend are that Harry needed to smoke the dragons to sleep. Though he then talks about how disgusting it is. They also discuss having mead for their meal.
There is only one “battle” and it’s very minor only about two paragraphs. To me, the most concerning thing in The Palace Library was that one of the people tried to take their own life. It was a sentence and the person was stopped though so it probably won’t make much of an impact.

More…
Author: Steven Loveridge
Source: NetGalley | Lent to me in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher & Date: November 5th 2012 by Createspace
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy Adventure
ISBN: 148017663X (ISBN13: 9781480176638)
Pages: 194
Grade: A
Ages: 8-14 | All ages
Steam: N/A
Setting: England
Series: The Palace Library Series
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on 2 February 2016
This book was a rather fun read.

Anyone who has ever read the Narnia books or seen any of the movies will notice right away that there are a lot of similarities in The Palace Library. This was a little troublesome at first because I had some difficulty separating the two, but as I read further I started to enjoy the story more.

The thing that I liked the most was the setting. The library was everything that one could want in a library and it was so lovely that I wish I could open a secret door and find myself there.

The writing has some ups and downs, I'll grant you, and there were parts that dragged a bit. I think some of it was the fact that there was a lot of overly descriptive parts, particularly dealing with feelings. Adults don't seem to care for those parts as much as a younger reader might, which is who this book is aimed towards.

I would recommend this to any child that enjoys books and their parents as well, especially one that might need reminding that magic exists, especially between the pages of a story.
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on 17 October 2015
Children aged 8-12 who are fans of adventure and time-slip stories will love The Palace Library in which sister and brother Harry and Eleanor and their cousin Grace are transported back to the 12th century after discovering a door to a secret 'timeless' library while staying at their uncle's stately home. Armed with magical books supplied by the ancient librarian, Edgar, and accompanied by his dependable bloodhound, Sophie, they soon find themselves in ancient rural England. Here they discover they've been chosen for a mission to help replace the stolen Sword of State, Ascalon, which affirms the power of the King and the ancient laws of the land. A cryptic prophecy warns Harry that in order to recast the sword to embody its full powers, he needs to retrieve a giant diamond from beneath the paw of a huge dragon whose whereabouts he must discover... Plenty of action, twists and turns -- as well as traitors to look out for! Highly recommended for fans of Narnia, Harry Potter and similar fantasy adventure stories!
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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2016
My 7 year old boy has been really enjoying this book, and is looking forward to continuing with the next book in the series. The story is an imaginative tale, where books in a magical library take the three children on an adventure. My son is into books like Harry Potter and the Narnia series, so the ideas behind this story fit in well with that and grabbed his interest. It's well written and easy to read, without being too babyish. It is just the right level for my 7 year old to read alone. If your child is into imaginative stories with quests and adventures, then this is a good option which is set in the modern world.

We received a review copy of the book
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