Paul here! I hope everyone is doing well today. Before I get to my review of the YA book A Raucous Time let’s recap what’s currently going on here at Sher A. Hart blog. There is still time to enter the 3rd Annual Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop so make sure you stop by and enter. Then there is the Sunshine Syndicate tour and huge giveaway and be sure to check out Daynight by Megan Thomason Book Blast & Blog Tour And two more giveaways are open for another week, including the blog tour of Rise of the Fire Tamer by Kailin Gow, and The Freak of Nature Book Blast. All are set to open in a new window so you won’t lose your place here.
Author of A Raucous Time, Julia Hughes has been kind enough to give away 2 autographed paperbacks as well as 2 ebooks. Julia has also been kind enough to offer to ship the books to Europe, the US, and Canada. Thanks Julia!. Now onto my review.
I was first drawn to A Raucous Time because of the cover. I wrote a post about book covers that led me to it that you can read here. I really, really enjoyed this book. I must state that it is, in my opinion an older YA book. This isn’t really a book for the younger YA audience. With that being said, I loved the theme of this book. It takes on a Raiders of the Lost Ark, type treasure hunt vibe. Who wouldn’t love that? On top of that I loved the setting. I love things set in England and the imagery the author provides of London and the English countryside is wonderful. The characters are very engaging, the plot is wonderful and the imagery is very good. A Raucous Time is a very good YA fantasy book that I would recommend. Now for the Goodreads blurb.
“When the final tally is counted, it will be seen that John’s vices far outweigh the virtues of other kings,” Churchill meant the Magna Carta of course. John also left another legacy though. One which has been hidden from sight for almost one thousand years. Rhyllann Jones’s geeky cousin Wren believes he can solve an ancient mystery. And he’s willing to sacrifice everything to the race to discover the fabled treasure trove of King John.
Rhyllann Jones longs for a normal family life. His Mum is an animal activist, his gran is in hospital, his aunt is in prison, while his cousin insists he knows where King John’s lost treasure is hidden. Somehow Rhyllann finds himself fleeing from a ruthless gang and DI Crombie, over the wild moors of Bodmin and in more danger than he could ever imagine.
What I liked most: The setting and the characters. I love Rhyllann and Wren. They are great characters. They have their flaws, but that is what makes them so likeable. Author C. Lee McKenzie wrote a guest post a while back on developing characters, and Ms. Hughes does a wonderful job of that. Rhyllann and Wren experience a lot, but maintain some of the characteristics that make them less than perfect. What fun would the story be if the were perfect little angels? It wouldn’t be very realistic that’s for sure. Crombie is a great character as well, but not quite as great as Auntie Dottie. She is a real hoot! Here are a couple of my favorite lines regarding Auntie Dottie, “Her chins shook with laughter.” One of the boys asks, “What happened to Uncle Dottie?” and the response was, “Dunno, do you think she ate him?” She is a real classic character and I really enjoyed the time the boys spent with her. The fantasy aspect of the story is also what I liked most. The idea of the Welsh and Celtic customs/rites, Caliburn, and English royalty is great. The author puts her own unique spin on these fascinating topics.
What missed just a bit: For me it was the fact that there are so many English terms. It is so true to the locale it is set in that I had some trouble deciphering what things meant. An example is the boys escape at one point in a Pram. I really had no idea what a Pram is, but I was able to figure it out in the context of the story (by the way, in case you’re wondering, it is a very fancy stroller, based on the old English word perambulator which means to stroll). This, along with some swearing (very little) and some intense, advanced situations is why I recommend A Raucous Time for older YA readers.
Overall: A hit! I personally loved it and am quite excited that there are more books that include the boys and old Crombie. If you’re looking for a YA fantasy book that will engage you, keep you on the edge of your seat, and entertain you, then look no further that A Raucous Time.
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