Welcome to this stop on the Paladin Pawn blog tour! Paladin Pawn is a newly released middle grade adventure by Michael D. Young.
One day his grandmother gives him a mysterious present, a chess piece, a white pawn. Suddenly, his grandmother goes missing and soon after his own mother. Left alone, Rich is frantic to figure out what is happening, and when a dark shadow appears in his home, challenging him to a duel, he is way over his head.
The next thing he knows, he is sucked into a portrait within his grandmother's closest, and finds out that he is a direct descendant of paladins, knights for good. He also finds out that just as he has been chosen to become a good knight, another has been chosen for evil. Rich must fulfill four challenges before his powers of good are at full strength, until then, his evil counterpart will do whatever it takes to destroy him.
Okay, this one is a hard one, mostly because the author only gives us half of a book. I can not stress how important it is for a book to have a beginning, middle, and an end, even if it is part one of a series. There can be an overlaying arc, but each book needs to hold its own, and this one does not. We end with Rich only completing two of his tasks and the search for his mother and father just heating up. We have everything but a conclusion. Something really needed to be done to tie this story off. Some goal of the hero should have been accomplished.
The story itself has a great premise and was fun to delve into. I enjoyed learning about Rich's family heritage and his quest to become a paladin. There is a little too much day dreaming for my liking though. As a character, Rich has to deal with typical kid problems, mainly bullying. What I really like was that as he trains to be a paladin, Rich has to overcome his natural instincts and choose a higher path. He has to help the people that have caused him harm.
The book is well written and enjoyable, but I'm split on my score. I'd say it ranges from 2.5 up to a 3.