Release date: February 2nd, 2019
“Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real.”
Seven years have passed, and Thomas hasn’t forgotten. He hasn’t forgotten the blue of his dad’s eyes either, or the tickle of beard on his cheek as they hugged goodbye for the very last time.
Now, with his 13th birthday rapidly approaching, Thomas’s search for magic is about to take a radical and unexpected turn. At an out-of-the-way shop filled with dusty leather books, a strange little man with gold-flecked eyes offers him an ancient text called The Book of Sorrows. The price is high and the rules are strict, but there’s no way Thomas can resist the chance to look inside.
With the mysterious book guiding the way, a strange new world is revealed – a world in which Thomas has a name and destiny far more extraordinary than he ever imagined. But time is short. Even as Thomas uncovers his secret family history, a powerful new enemy emerges, threatening to end his rise to power and destroy everything he holds dear.
I consider Thomas a good role model for middle-grade readers that could potentially be interested in reading this book. He has a good, healthy, respectful relationship with his mother and his friends. Thomas does well and applies himself in school – despite the doodle wars with his best friend Enrique during class. It was refreshing to see Thomas finally decided to stand up to the ringleader of the bullies in his class in support of the withdrawn new kid – without resorting to violent action. Violence was implied but only as a last resort and in self-defense. Honestly, my dad told me essentially the same thing and to quote Marie from Aristocats – “Ladies don’t start fights, but they can finish them!” Thomas and Enrique have a solid friendship that even extends towards each other’s family (mainly Enrique’s siblings) and have quite a few shared similarities. The wholesome teasing banter between the two friends did have me laughing out loud a few times as well as some choice comments from Professor Reilly towards the end.
We’ve seen this type of plotline in middle-grade before but regardless, I enjoyed it. It had more than enough action and new aspects that I was more than happy to get lost in this book. It only took me two sittings to finish this book. The only portions that I believe some middle-grade readers could have issues with is the text from The Book of Sorrows that is archaic English. There was more than enough action and events going on to constantly move the story forward although the acquisition of the crystals seemed a little anticlimactic until the last one. I am curious to see where the second book takes the group of friends who are more similar to a family.
I would like to thank Kelsey at Book Publicity Services for reaching out to see if I would be interested in a copy of Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows to read and review, I don’t believe I would have found it otherwise. I will definitely be reading the second book in this charming middle-grade series. All opinions in this review are my own.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5