REVIEWS & PRESS
A selection of the comments and praise for The Vikings Apprentice by Kevin McLeod.
The Viking’s Apprentice is a ripping good tale, filled with all the fun and epic adventure one could hope for from the genre. Kevin McLeod creates a fascinating world and a mythology that comes alive with his impressive storytelling. If epic battles between good and evil get your blood flowing, then The Viking’s Apprentice is for you. In its pages you will find McLeod’s rich imagination on full display: statues and paintings coming alive to join battles, talking bears, fire-breathing dragons, ogres, witches, magic and, of course, vikings. Beyond the battle scenes, The Viking’s Apprentice brings readers into the emotional journey as one character fulfills his purpose and another discovers his destiny in much different than he ever expected. This first book creates a fertile landscape, one which promises many great adventures yet to come.
Jeff Gunhus, author of Jack Templar Monster Hunter
Excellent! - lostinagoodbook
As soon as I read the plot I went hunting for this book. When I realised it was an ebook only I downloaded the necessary apps and away I went head first. This is an excellent book, just as it looked like it would be. What McLeod does is he has created a world of mystery and magic within our own and even in this first book, for even as I read I could tell there would be a second, is he has engaged readers. He uses stories of an ancient time, seemingly simple, but with so much hidden meaning and history behind it, to reveal the past, explain a story and begin an adventure. However it is the way in which he does this is what was wonderful: by using characters to do the work for him he enables readers to learn alongside the children as they too hear the wild adventures of the past, hearing tales of heroics of Vikings and warriors, dragons and battles.
The story begins with Peter and his friend George going to stay with Peter's Grandad at Campbell's Cove for the holidays. We learn that Peter does this often and what we know of Grandad is he is a teller of stories, stories about the Cove's history, rich in dragons, warriors, and witches. The descriptions in this story are wonderful, but it also allows the reader to create their own images. The images created as you read Grandad's stories to the boys about when dragons were fought and villages were under threat are excellent. In so few words seemingly complete stories can be told. This is another clever trick by McLeod; readers are given the same position as the children in the beginning, we, as they, sit impatiently while Grandad recounts his stories. This is where our knowledge comes from and we must wait, unless you start speculating like I did, but McLeod gives nothing away until you and the children need to know.
In other books like Fforde or Colfer or Nix where you know the authors like to play with you so readers only get what the author wants them to have until they're ready, McLeod does this as well, and uses the children wonderfully to do so. They are not exactly withheld information, but within the story characters respect the relationship between the boys and the Grandfather, and when questions are being asked the main response is, `I think it would be best for your Grandad to tell you, or `he wants to be the one to tell you'. I liked that part, we are being held filled with suspense about what exactly is going on, but there is a reason for it that you know will be better to help gain a full idea of the story.
That is not to say we stick with the children the entire time through this story. McLeod gives us both sides of this saga, and the ambiguity and secretive unspoken and unexplained snippets about the coming danger is very creative. This is where we are treated as a reader away from the children; there is no information though, only secrets and mysterious figures. What I always like is that there are unexplained actions that occur but we see no explanation of meaning we are left to try and figure it out for ourselves. For a book suited at this age and audience, it is rather intricate and mysterious, something I applaud.
Where this story begins to grow in excitement is when these two stories we've seen combine and the past seems to return, and perhaps the Vikings and dragons of Grandad's tales are become less of a story and more of a reality. I am offering no spoilers so don't even try, but I will say that I adored how this was revealed and how it played out. I really liked though that McLeod was able to capture the urgency in the story with his writing, you definitely feel that things have become chaotic, or have calmed down, or that there is an eerie feeling. This certainly helps create feeling of a story without actually making it blatantly obvious and announcing it to readers.
By the end of this book you are hanging out for the next one, McLeod has set up this story very well and he adds just enough to make you want to keep reading about these characters and see the effects and consequences of the events in this book. I look forward to continuing this series.
"Fantastic" - Rebbie Reviews
I'll be honest. I wasn't expecting much from this book. It's really not my thing and not a genre I tend to read, the artwork on the cover is nice. I found this author when I opened up my Rebbie Reviews twitter account and thought I'd give it a whirl.
So, what did I think? Well it seemed a little strange, the book opens with vikings and then the next thing you know you're in a school at the end of term. I figured it'd be some little boy's wild imagination or a school project. Peter, our main character is going to spend the summer at his grandad's house in Campbell's Cove. Then the book really gets going! This is a story like none I've ever read, it's got everything from kids to vikings to witches, trolls and talking bears!
Aimed at older children and young adults, it's fun for a wide range of people including those who are fans of the genre, it's well written with good description but still allowing that bit of artistic license for the reader. It's easy to read and I could not put this book down, by mid way through I was completely hooked and excited to see what would happen next.
I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone but any of you guys with young teens? Get this book to them!
Kevin's next book is in the works now and I for one, cannot wait to read it!
"Excellent read with plenty to get a
kids imagination going"
Not my normal kind of read, however it turned out to be a real page turner.
It's without a doubt aimed at older children with active imaginations (8 onwards with memorable characters you are taken to places with each chapter that just feeds to your excitement. Has left me guessing about the next book which is what a good book is all about.
It's a must buy when it's out on paper back for my house hold for my son and I can't wait for the next book to be released.
Everyone should download this book! The story is amazing and extremely well written. The characters are excellent and very believable. If you want to spend an enjoyable few hours of reading.This is the book for you!
Fabulous! I loved this book.
I'm a primary teacher and am sure the pupils in my class would enjoy it too! It would really help ignite their imaginations, it is a true adventure story with the setting, characters and plot needed to keep you thoroughly engaged. It reminds me of the fun adventures I used to read and reenact when I was younger. The Viking's Apprentice is certainly more fast paced and thrilling than some of the more traditional adventure series. It does however give you the warm feeling of comradery which children relate to and often refer to when using their own imaginations. I feel this successful combination makes it suitable for both boys and girls to enjoy- oh and adults of course too!
Five stars! Absolutely fantastic.
I can't wait to read the next instalment. This book will appeal to all age groups and I am looking forward to reading it to my youngest so I can immerse myself in the story once more. Well done Kevin.
I was hooked from the from the first page. Great characters that will appeal to both boys & girls wth a storyline they can let loose their imagination.Cant wait for the next book. Presents for younger family members sorted!