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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

on 21 July 2017
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on 30 December 2011
i have just read a review and being scottish (glaswegan) the phrase "ua numpty" has got me, i need to get this book,it will be the first i buy on my new kindel. A CANNY WATE FUR IT NOO.The Magic Scales: Book One of the Denthan Series
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on 7 March 2010
I have read 'The Magic Scales' by Sam Wilding as part of my ongoing project to investigate relatively unknown authors.

James Peck is a young boy whose father has disappeared and whose mother is, let's say, not the easiest person to live with. Speculation is rife amongst the inhabitants of the small Scottish village of Drumfintley as to what might have happened. As if that wasn't enough trouble, in his search for clues about his father, James comes across a speaking goldfish. Yes, pinch himself as he might, it is a goldfish and it talks. Before long, James, his best friend Craig and Bero, Craig's golden retriever, are caught up in adventures involving wizards, monsters and magical weapons. As with all good fantasy books, the stakes are high and time is running out fast.

Well, I very much doubt that Sam Wilding will be unknown for long. To turn a story revolving around a goldfish into a riveting read speaks of a talent above the ordinary. 'The Magic Scales' will have any monster loving eight year old glued to the pages. Well written, with plenty of funny moments, this book is a great example of the fantasy genre for older children. The only reason that it didn't get five stars from me is that I have never been a greatest fan of monsters. That I finished the book despite there being plenty, is in itself proof of how much I got caught up in the story.
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on 1 August 2009
The sudden disappearance of James Peck's father sets off a series of strange goings on in the tiny hamlet of Drumfintley, in Scotland. On Bruce Moor, the last place his father was seen alive, James discovers a squashed stoat next to giant unearthly footprints. The same day he follows a mysterious stranger and overhears his conversation with an invisible hissing beast named Sleven, then disappears. Reeling from shock, James passes a trash bin and is summoned by a talking goldfish inside. The fish tells James his name is Mendel and demands that he rescue him.

Mendel explains he's actually a wizard from another world called Denthan. He's been turned into a fish and now the mysterious stranger and Sleven are trying to kill him. He desperately needs James's help, not only to protect him but also to save Denthan. James is baffled by the bossy fish wizard, yet he's certain the same dark magic that brought these creatures from another world is somehow linked to his father's fate.

He enlists the help of his best friend, Craig and his golden retriever, Bero, who carries the goldfish in a tiny barrel around his neck, like a St. Bernard. Lured by a string of clues related to Mr. Peck's vanishing, and with Mendel as their guide, they enter the gateway into Denthan, a strange world containing magic scales and two suns, one of which will explode very soon.

Much to James and Craig's horror, they arrive in the midst of a war between hordes of terrifying creatures, including reptilian Hedra wizards, monstrous hairy Osgrunfs, giant insect-like Centides, several species of Trolls, Manimals, and many more. Magically the boys become warriors and it's clear they're going to have to fight their way through Denthan to get back home.

And that's only half of this amazing adventure. Wilding successfully weaves a story within a story in this sophisticated fantasy. "The Magic Scales" is full of breathtaking action scenes, with plenty of surprises to keep readers guessing. Harry Potter fans will definitely find the Vision Pool in "Book One of the Denthan Series" well worth diving into.
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on 9 February 2010
This is a very gripping novel, set partly in our 'real' world and partly on the magical planet of Denthan. The Denthan chapters are sandwiched between two sections set in the imaginary town of Drumfintley, which accurately captures the vibe of a west-coast Scottish village. This helps Wilding to create believable characters that are easy to relate to, before these characters are dumped into the magical setting of Denthan. The basic premise of why Denthan is in peril is both original (in fantasy terms) and also topical. James and Craig are both likeable and sympathetic characters, and the reader wants to read on to find out how they will cope with their terrifying quest. The cast of supporting characters is quite big, but there are several interesting ones among them; and, on the whole, they are there to reveal more about the personalities of James and Craig, the two heroes. The character Mendel is fun: he is a powerful wizard, but is also a bit of a pompous buffoon, which is rather undermined by his being a goldfish. It is easy to like him, but also easy to enjoy the scenes where he is 'off-stage', as his pompousness can lead to 'Mendel fatigue'. There are some lovely moments with Bero, Craig's faithful old dog, who turns out to be the real hero of the novel. If you are buying this for young ones, have a look through it yourself first to check the level of violence is acceptable (although it is mostly all daft, fantasy violence). Other than that, read it and enjoy!
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on 8 February 2012
the book arrived on time for Xhristmas and my son, who is 7 and is an avid reader, started to read it immediately. Unfortunately his enthusiams stopped when he got to page 10 as he found it too difficult. We'll give it another go next year, I am sure he will enjoy it.
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on 20 May 2009
What a good read. My daughter, Helen, gave me this book to read, saying it was the best book she'd read since the Harry Potter books. it was funny, freaky and fantastic. The main character, James Peck is pestered by asthma, his mum and a host of new creatures to the fantasy genre. Very original - the wizard being a goldfish etc. A bit on the long side for younger kids, buy hey.. Helen's 9 and she read it pretty quickly.
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on 8 November 2010
Despite my mum warning me that this book was way too long for me, i loved it. I laughed and laughed at the antics of Craig and James while getting drawn into a story of epic and random proportions. A goldfish wizard, Yukpuss( a drug that makes you happy) and reptilian wizards hiding under human skin.... SORRY; but this was original, and had me glued to the pages. By the way I never guessed the ending, and neither will you!!! PROMISE!
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on 10 April 2009
The Magic Scales thrilled me from the start. Up on wild Scottish moor, alone and upset, all goes totally still. The wind stops blowing, the birds stop singing and only sound is your own breath. This book is full of strange new monsters and situations. I loved the mum, Cathy Peck, who rants and screams her way through the surreal world of Denthan. The asthmatic boy, James, is a great hero, full of self doubt but resourceful and determined. His side-kick, Craig, is a 'Numpty' but a likable own who creates most of the laughs, and there are plenty. Can't recomend it enough! Six of my friends have read my copy so I thought it was only fair to give it a plug here. Buy it NOW. The Second Gateway (Denthan Series)
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on 5 November 2010
I liked this book very much. It kept me interested right from the beginning. I particularly liked the fact that the boy has asthma. I have asthma and I thought it was good that the hero james had very exciting adventures despite it. It was also very funny, especially Craig and the mad mum. I certainly give this book a 5 star.
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