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on 3 July 2017
I really loved this book! Brian's father is missing and his mother takes him to stay with his grandparents for a while. Things are not what they seem, two monsters Sam and Hadley and three friends join Brian in an enthusiastic romp. Great fun. Wasted on just kids!
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on 5 September 2016
Re-read this clever and pacy YA novel to remind myself of the story and world I'm about to revisit for the sequel (Brian the Alchemist and the Silver Dragon)
So glad I did, I'd forgotten the ending, which has pathos and emotion, but thoroughly enjoyed reacquainting myself with all the characters, especially Sam and Hadley.
This has detailed descriptions which I think anyone will enjoy, and it evokes a world of difference without making a big deal of it. Magic is as straightforward and matter of fact as a boy in a wheelchair, a young girl with asthma, and a protagonist who is as good as orphaned. We are all different and this novel shows that differences don't matter, everyone is important.
Good job Mr Taylor, looking forward to the next one - return flight reading I think!
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on 23 February 2015
Fantastic read and not just for children. I loved it as much as my sons. Would definitely recommend it. Couldn't put it down. Hope there's more soon from this author!
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on 13 February 2013
Definitely a book I have enjoyed if I can read a book in a few days with two small children then that is the same as when someone else may say they read in one sitting!!!!

I loved the way the author was descriptive so much so that the whole story was brought to life; even someone without any imagination could picture this story as it was brought to life in the way that it was written. It is a magical fantasy that is well worth reading and that I hope will have much more to come in the future.

Bought via gift certificate for another Kindle using friend I can't believe more dont take advantage of the bargain Kindle price I will be sharing review with friends wherever I can it is lovely to once again find a book that can be equally enjoyed by both adult readers and children alike and will be looking to get a paperback version at a later date to share with friends via bookcrossing.com as I feel this is definitely worth sharing.

The rest of this review could be considered a spoiler so read with caution if you have not yet read the book........

I have to agree with some other reviewers that there were times it made me think of Harry Potter but in fairness to the author I think most good fantasy magical themed books where there is a good versus evil magical battle theme will for the foreseeable future be compared to Harry Potter after all we have had ten years of Mr Potter and many of us are trying desperately to fill a void that has left us with.

I recall one reviewer commenting on the characters being picked for political correctness I am assuming their reference was to a mixture of races and levels of disabilities amongst the character descriptions but in all the descriptions of magical beings both human and otherwise I felt the mix of main characters was a nice blend that worked well in the storyline.

I would easily have given this 5 stars up until the final battle where I am afraid I felt a bit let down after such a great descriptive story throughout after that I feel it all felt a bit rushed and closed down trying to leave loose ends to follow up on in the sequel. That said I would still recommend and intend to look out for follow up story which I hope continues with the original descriptive narrative style that we found through most of this book and that felt far more magical to read.
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I would say that this book is aimed at children aged 9 through to mid-teens, although I am a lot older than that and loved it.

Brian has been left with his grand parents who he has only met on two previous occasions. His father is `missing' and his mother is trying to sort out a new house and a job because of the financial situation they have found themselves in. Very quickly Brian realises that things aren't quite normal at his grand parents house and, although he starts off rather sceptically about magic, he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into a very strange unknown world of magic potions, good monsters and bad demons. Brian becomes friends with two `good monsters', Sam and Hadley and they all meet up with two more children, Norman and Audrey, who also have parents that have `gone missing'. The mystery deepens and with the help of Violet who they meet at the tavern where they are staying in this weird underground world, they tackle fire monsters and demons to try to save their parents, magical rubies and the Cup of Ages. The final two or three chapters are enticingly terrifying cliff hangers that will keep all voracious young readers up until past their bedtime to find out what happens.

I found this story well constructed with rich narrative and imaginative plot lines. There's no need to worry about bad language or anything you wouldn't want your child to read about, it's perfect for all children from 8 or 9 upwards.
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on 4 February 2015
My 8 year old son received a Kindle for his Christmas present. He downloaded this book based on the fantastic reviews and he wasn't disappointed. He loves reading and this book did not disappoint him - he finished the book within a few days and is looking forward to reading the sequel. Judging by the reviews - think I am going to read it myself.
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on 20 February 2015
My 9 year old daughter has just finished this fantastic book. It kept her really gripped, with exciting new adventures along the way. Her favourite characters were Sam and Hadley, two funny monsters who always bickered and got up to mischief!! Excellent writing and we look forward to the sequel.
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on 3 May 2017
Such a amazing book couldn't put it down
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on 18 June 2015
Excellent book! My 13 year old niece couldn't put it down so that in itself is positive as at least she wasn't using her tablet!!! More please!
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on 17 September 2016
The book is a must read im loving it,you almost feel your actually there witnessing it all.philip taylor is a amazing author
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