Guardians of Magic (The Cloud Horse Chronicles) written and illustrated by Chris Riddell
A truly wild and wonderful read; Guardians of Magic has everything you could possibly want in a children's book - magic, danger and three fearless heroes who believe in the impossible. You're in for an enchanting, imagination-soaring, thrilling treat!
Set in the magical Kingdom of Thrynne - a world where giants roam, legendary cloud horses fly and the power of magic lives deep and safe within The Forever Tree. But times are changing. The future of magic is in danger and enemies across the world are working together to destory it. Unless three brave children fight back and believe in the impossible.
Zam Zephyr, Phoebe Limetree and Bathsheba Greengrass don't yet know how powerful they are, but when each child discovers an enchanted gift bestowed upon them by The Forever Tree, they quickly find themselves united in an unforgettable quest to protect the nature of magic, or else the world as they know it will be gone forever.
From an evil Clockmaker and his terrifying army of tin men to Professional Princess Giant Slayers and a gang of fearless ballet dancing bears, Riddle has written a fairytale epic. Alive with familiar fairytale allusions, Guardians of Magic pirouettes with such passion and originality that I absorbed the story in one satisfying, exciting read.
In a tale where the setting is indispensable, Riddell's world building was executed perfectly. Across the town of Troutwine, the city of Nightingale, the village of Bream, and the refuge of Tumbledowns, the Kingdom of Thrynne and all the characters in it are magnificently brought to life. Coupled with a vocabulary that is rich and immersive, Guardians of Magic is sure to delight and challenge young readers of 8+.
With a strong focus on the importance of friendship, bravery and adversity, Riddle has subtly intertwined the importance of challenging stereotypes and standing up against prejudice, along with a refreshing and powerful nod to protecting and preserving our natural environment. But at the heart of this tale, are Riddle's beautifully intricate illustrations which effortlessly enhance the narrative.
I cannot wait to journey to the Kingdom of Thrynne again, in what I hope will come an exhilarating sequel. Guardians of Magic is perfect for fans of Cressida Cowell's Wizards of Once series.