Saturday, January 05, 2019

Cartoon Saturday- Max and the Midknights

40642963Peirce, Lincoln. Max and the Midnights
January 8th 2019 by Crown Books for Young Readers
Copy provided by the publisher

Can't quite review this without a spoiler, so if you don't want to know, stop reading right now! Close the browser window! We'll wait.

Okay. Continue at your own peril. You've been warned.

Max must be an apprentice to Uncle Budrick, who travels the country singing and telling tales. Max would rather be a knight, but the customs of Byjovia indicate that family traditions must be honored. When a highwayman attacks the two, they are left without their horse and cart, although Max picks up a dagger their attacker leaves behind. They make it to the town of Byjovia, where Budrick grew up, but things have changed since his time. Instead of Conrad the Kind, the kingdom is ruled by Ghastley, and the people have changed for the worse. When Max is almost thrown into the dungeon as a vagrant, Budrick comes to the rescue but is conscripted to be the king's fool. Luckily, Max is taken aside by Kevyn, whose father is an ostler. Kevyn would rather make books, so he understands Max's desire to become a knight. Kevyn's father, Nolan, summons the retired wizard Mumblin, whose magic has not weathered well. Together, the group tries to fend off attacks from Ghastley and his cohort in crime, the witch Fendra, who were the two behind the death of King Conrad. They are also poisoning the people of Byjovia. Armed with Conrad's dagger and in the company of daring and wily street urchins, can Max uncover the truth and safe the kingdom?
Strengths: Pictures. Fart jokes. Dragons. It's like Monty Python produced a middle grade notebook novel. I...I...I'm not quite sure why I love this so much. Probably because my own personal children would have loved this when they were in first grade, but it will be just as popular in middle school. It was just silly fun. And the twist! The twist is brilliant! (And I managed to write the review without revealing that Max is a GIRL!)(Highlight to read.)
Weaknesses: Paper over board. ARGH! If I were writing this book, I might well have named Ghastley that. Every bit as horrible. Sure, put the most read books in the crappiest binding!
What I really think: I love that Peirce writes books that he wishes he could have read as a child. His artwork in crisp, engaging and happy, and the ratio of text to pictures is just perfect. The stories are goofy on a kid level, but also amusing to adults. Definitely would not mind more titles about Max.
Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:36 AM EST

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.