Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review- Shield Maiden by Richard Denning

Welcome to Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! Today I have a mg adventure for you from the UK, Shield Maiden by Richard Denning.

The Story-
Twelve year old Anna is a young girl growing up in a 7th century Saxon village, and she has a problem. She wants to be a shield maiden, a female warrior. Her father, the village leader, only wants her younger brother to weapon train.

Anna is a natural born leader, and the other kids follow her around on her adventures. One such adventure leads the kids to an old Roman ruin where they discover a golden horn. They each take their turn trying to blow it, but only Anna can get it to sound. When it does, the world shakes and magic stirs.

The very next day a beautiful, but evil sorceress shows up and enslaves Anna's village. She hypnotizes everyone to hunt for Anna and the horn. On the run, the children find a friendly, yet ugly dwarf who protects them. But, one dwarf is not enough to face a whole village.

My Thoughts- The story line is great. I loved reading about this 7th century Saxon village and the destruction that was caused after the Romans left England. I also liked the mixing of mythology into the story. It rang really true these days because of Thor and The Avengers. I actually understood what was happening.

The children are virtually on their own in a battle against evil. All their loved ones are turned against them, and the only ones that can help are an old peddler and a dwarf. There are great battle scenes and chasing scenes. As the reader you can feel the tension. There are lots of magic and relics too.

An added advantage is that art work is included in the pages. I love seeing what I am reading about. One point though, most of the images, especially the cover, are misleading. The story is about a group of kids 9 to 12. Several of the pictures make them look like they are in their twenties.

Overall a fun read, and I look forward to Anna's future adventures.

You can check out the author's website at