Vivi Conway and the sword of legend - Lizzie Huxley Jones
'In the Unlands, nothing is as it seems...'
A fantastic rip-roaring mix of contemporary adventure and mythical magic, this is a real page-turner from debut middle-grade author Lizzie Huxley-Jones, and publisher Knights Of, that I read in one sitting!
I loved neuro-diverse Vivi and her cast of 'calonnau' as they fight the evil King Arawn in this brilliant blend of Welsh tales and modern-day settings, with the prolific use of traditional names ( thank goodness for the glossary!), dome of which I knew of ( Excalibur and Merlin) and some new and terrifying creatures to contest with ( an 'afanc', anyone? 'Flooder of towns and Murderer of maidens'!?)
Starting with a bang, with an monstrous encounter in a Welsh lake, the action is relentless, following Vivi and her mums as they move and set up for a new life in Ondon, with visits to crystal-lined grottos via portals along the way, accompanied by the eternal ghost of a talking Irish wolfhound ( and my favourite character!), Gelert.
A cast of inclusive characters and sensitive but Frank descriptions of Vivi's battles to deal with the difficulties of navigating school and friendships as an autistic child all add an extra element to the tale, and make this even more of a triumph, as they ate all so interesting and well-described, their relationships and characters all helping create a wonderful world for the story to be set in.
I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!
Review by Richreadalot, June 2023.
Thanks to Kinghts of and Ed.pr for the copy of the book to review and the spot on the blogtour.
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