Pel Mel Critics’ Corner

Book Review: The Age of Knights and Dames

Katie D'Angelo, Staff Reporter, Junior

A young group of friends are the last defenders of the kingdom of Dembroch, and what awaits them is more than they could have ever have feared. The Age of Knights & Dames by Patrick Harris, the first of the Defenders of Dembroch series, is a book for any adventure lover. This story of friendship and determination to bring hope back to a broken kingdom is filled with love, hope, adventure, revenge, and forgiveness, with characters who have lost their way and forgot what it’s like to be youthful.

The Timeless Kingdom of Dembroch isn’t just any small Scottish island reliant on farming and fishing. It’s past the Norwegian Sea, shrouded in storm, and protected by the Bolts of God, the ancient defense system gifted to the people of Dembroch by the gods of Old. Its history is more than magical, but its current predicament is chilling and its future terribly grim. After the death of the king and many of its knights and dames, the queen calls upon a group of friends to help save Dembroch from enemies trying to take it over. Only a dozen citizens remain, and deep in the woods lies a ravenous, immortal monster. It is up to Nick, Meg, Jenn, and Clay to defend the almost skeletal kingdom from the impending curse that threatens to take out Dembroch completely. There is a famine of flames, a witch in waiting, and a looming curse. Magic dies and dead men walk. Clocks don’t tell time. Eyes don’t see. Invisible doors take you far away. Nick and his friends alone are the last defense to save the kingdom, its people, and its queen.

There are many amazing aspects to the novel: the characters, though complex, are heroes who are endearing and relatable as adults that have lost their way and forgot what it means to remain youthful. In addition, the relationships between the main characters are incredibly amusing, and readers can find aspects of themselves in all of these characters.

Though an amazing tale, no story is without its flaws. The switch between an omniscient and first person point of view, though original and unique, was sometimes a bit jarring to read. Also, dialogue in the novel is not always realistic, as it seems too forced and not as if it would easily roll off the tongue, even in the mystical kingdom of Dembroch.

But despite this, the book is a fun read and hard to put down. In the parts where the writing isn’t awkward, the prose flows like pure poetry, thanks to Harris’ talented writing abilities. It is impossible to not love the world of Dembroch, as there is nothing that compares to fantasy worlds that are on the cusp of being considered horror. Make sure to lay your hands on a copy of The Age of Knights and Dames when it comes out on November 5.