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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 10 July 2006
I bought this book to read to my 9 yr old brother. We can't put it down. He's never asked me to read to him so much in his whole life! we read 7 chapters in one day yesterday! the twists and turns keep you on your toes and you WANT to turn the page to see what happens next. I'm enjoying it as well as he is and I'm 22 :)

I would definatly recommend this book. I know I'll be treasuring my own copy for years to come to read to my own children. Great book. Can't wait for the next one!

Great job Jasper :)
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on 17 June 2006
A fine and absorbing story for 8 - 13 year-olds and anyone with a love for the fantastic. In fact, if you love fairy tales, magic and mystery you'll love "Candara's Gift". As the author skilfully weaves his tale about the troubled Kingdom of Gems he introduces us to a host of memorable characters - Joog the snowy owl, Miriam the mouse, the unicorns Aram and Halo, Horrik the dragon, the mysterious and grumpy Old Howard and Amalek and Seph, heirs to the Palace of Candara. A quest story, "Candara's Gift" follows the adventures of Seph and Amalek as they flee the Kingdom of Gems in search of the wizard Candara. On the way they are caught in blinding blizzards, assailed by an army of evil ravens and pursued by a dark wizard's spells. Imagination knows no bounds in this exciting tale that will be continued in books 2 and 3.

If you are looking for imagination and adventure, you couldn't do much better than read this book. On the way, you will meet friendship and courage, love and determination and above all a wonderful sense of invention. My personal favourites are the wicked ravens lead by their pompous General and the scavenging Jamar, the stray dog who bites back and wins himself a new master in the service of the dark wizard. Children will love this book but so will adults who can still remember that stories of enchantment are perennially new because they remind us of the drama of living into which we are all born.

My advice? Buy this book as soon as you can!
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on 22 August 2006
I bought this book out of curiosity after a tip off from a friend. Although this is essentially a children's book, I could not put it down despite being in my late 50s and almost missed my bus stop on several occasions.

It is descriptive without being too heavy, and on several occasions could see Disney making it into a movie, especially the comic scenes with the ravens and the albatross with it's crazy way of taking off and landing. I wouldn't be surprised to see it up among the other successful children's classics and can't wait for the next book to be published.
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on 14 June 2006
Candara's Gift is such a masterpiece of fantasy writing that it's hard to believe this is Cooper's first book. Like any good children's novel, it contains all the necessary ingredients: beautiful imagery, hidden treasure, an epic battle between good and evil, the essential cast of wizards, a dragon, a king, queen and prince and princess, and a journey into the dark unknown. The story reminded me of the Narnia Chronicles or Lord of the Rings, but it's more exciting, shorter, and more accessible. Cooper has an easy style that flows and reads easily, making it ideal for today's short-attention-spanned youngster, yet with its own complexity and with some clever innovations such as optional riddles and puzzles. The characters are powerfully vivid, and Cooper lets his imagination run wild, weaving in unicorns, the odd mysterious character, and a fantasy land full of colour and mystery. But most striking of all is the goodness this book exudes -- and its good humour. It's a book that will not only inspire and entertain children, but educate them at the same time. In short, this is a made superb start to children's story writing - a book that could well give JK Rowling a run for her money.
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on 10 August 2006
Candara's Gift is definetly my type of book
My Mother got this from amazon to support Jasper Cooper
and I asked if it was a children's book. My Mother said yes and I picked it up and could not put it down!!!
Jasper Cooper describes everything in a wonderful way!!
The Characters are brought to life ande the suspence grows and grows.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to the next book and trilogy!!!!!!!!!
Thank-you so much Jasper Cooper and Good Luck

Helena Thomas
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on 22 March 2007
I am writing this review on behalf of Eagle class (the group of 10 and 11 year old pupils I teach).

I read the book myself whilst on holiday in Canada last summer and loved every minute of it. Perhaps it struck a chord as I was travelling through spectacular scenery at the time, but I was swept away by the descriptions in the book and became really engrossed in all of the illustrations and maps.

I recently introduced the book to my year 6 pupils and it has also entranced them. It's no secret that getting children to read can be a bit of a struggle but I've struggled to get the children to stop asking for the next chapter!

Overall it's a fabulous read and encapsulates elements of all of our favourite fanatasy stories with plenty of original twists. We can't wait for the next instalment.
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on 29 June 2006
Well written and crafted novel following the adventures of Prince Seph and Princess Amalek. There is a whole host of interesting characters and animals (good and evil), each so well described you can imagine them, in your mind's eye, as you read. I grabbed every spare minute of day to read on, on the train, sitting at the station, my lunch hour even missed my favourite soaps! - it is very gripping. This book belongs up in the ranks with the creations of J K Rowling and Philip Pullman. Can't wait for the next installment.
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on 22 June 2006
I was very impressed with both the style of writing and the content. The author has managed to bridge the gap between writing for a younger audience, and also those who are young at heart. Excellent first book

The Other Side Of Desire (Jason & Lilly's Story)
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This is a wonderful story about a young prince and princess who have to face up to their fears and act quickly when the safety of their Kingdom becomes threatened.

Without giving away too much of the plotline, the task of saving The Kingdom Of Gems falls to Prince Seph and Princess Amalek when their parents fall foul to an evil spell. They assemble a band of friends and set off to find help, meeting others along the way.

Mr Cooper has a wonderfully descriptive style of writing which allows the story to play out in your mind's eye as you read it - it almost feels as though you are watching the story happen rather than reading words from a page.

The book was a delight to read - I have only one criticism - as soon as you finish this book you will be itching to read the next in the trilogy!
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on 20 April 2007
My husband got this book after purchasing another. I found it in his office and thought that I'd give it ago. Whilst it is a kids book and in my opinion not as good as JK Rowling, it was still a good read. I would certainly recommend it to children aged about ten. My only issue, and maybe there isn't one, is that the book finishes ready to carry on into the next book - but what happens if you can't find the next book - you're left wondering whatever happened - maybe it's a good thing, maybe not. Even so, it was a good read and I am looking forward to getting book two.
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