The Land of Roar by Jenny McLaughlin
Published by Egmont UK on August 1st 2019
Genres: Middle Grade Fantasy
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The new middle-grade fantasy that will make you believe in magic!
When Arthur and Rose were little, they were heroes in the Land of Roar, an imaginary world that they found by climbing through the folding bed in their grandad’s attic. Roar was filled with things they loved – dragons, mermaids, ninja wizards and adventure – as well as things that scared them (including a very creepy scarecrow. . .)
Now the twins are eleven, Roar is just a memory. But when they help Grandad clean out the attic, Arthur is horrified as Grandad is pulled into the folding bed and vanishes. Is he playing a joke? Or is Roar . . . real?
McLaughlin who is best known for her YA Contemporary books return with a middle grade fantasy that will not disappoint old and new readers. There is plenty of entertainment in this book and the creativity embodies the age of the lead characters.
The Land of Roar introduces readers to Arthur and Rose, a pair of twins who were once thick as thieves but now are starting to separate their identities. Spending their last summer at their Grandfather’s before Secondary school. Arthur and Rose are the cusp of major change. Arthur is determined to hold on to any traces of his imagination whilst Rose is ready to forget the childhood games and imagination that they created. Day and Night they have been become until their imagination becomes reality once again and they are forced to make some drastic moves….
The Land of Roar appeals to the child in every person taking ideas from previous establish fictional works and creating a whimsical imaginary world. It’s enchanting light hearted adventure that has the perfect balance of magic, mischief and imagination.
There is freedom in Roar and their adventure there is exactly what readers will expect from a light hearted fantasy. The world, is the perfect mixed of the stories of yesteryears blend to create a world that thrives on imagination.
There is a real female empowerment element in this world which is illustrated by the illustrator Mantle. The illustrations bring this book to life beautifully and it adds to the reading experience. It allow readers to get feel of key supporting character liks Wim, the half wizard and the dragons who both have important roles to play.
Underneath the whimsical story, is a strong message. Whilst Arthur is quick to embody the message at hand. Never change and always believe in yourself. Rose is the perfect foil to Arthur and the bickering was perfect as it drove home the childlike imagination and believability factor which key to this story and explains the happenings in the Land of Roar .
The ending drives home the message and hopefully there will be a return visit to answer the unanswered question that surely will drive readers mad with curiosity. This middle grade fantasy is a nod to yesteryear whilst creating a new and whimsical world that will appeal to this generation of readers.