Review: Prince Zaaki and the Royal Sword of Luella
It is very rare for me to find a book that interests one, never mind two of my children. Keen readers, they are not. Despite my attempts to find a subject matter which interests them and characters who hook them, they lose interest usually about twenty pages in and I have to resort to threats and bribery to keep them going. That is, until I was sent a copy of this fantastic, magical book.
Prince Zaaki and the Royal Sword of Luella is the first ‘big’ book that I’ve read all the way through with my middle son, Jonah, who is nine. From the very first page, his little brother Ellis, who is only five, also wanted in on the action and I’ve had to stop Jonah whizzing ahead through the book without us. As the mother of hard-to-engage readers, this book has been a revelation!
I’m unashamedly a fan of all the old fairy tales, so I’m a sucker for any story which starts with ‘Once upon a time’, as this one does. From page one onwards this book provides escapism and fantasy which envelops readers young (them) and old (…me!).
The scene is set telling us that our hero, Prince Zaaki is heir to the throne and his father, King Zok, has decided that on his twentieth birthday he will succeed his father and become King of Luella. The descriptive language really cleverly takes us away on all the adventures that Zaaki enjoys; we experience them with him. His expedition across the Kingdom of Luella is filled with excitement and a fair amount of peril too. My boys loved the danger and suspense, but it was always just the right side of scary!
Without wanting to give too much away, as the story develops, Prince Zaaki is taken to a mysterious Island where there is a special school for uniquely gifted children and he begins to learn and unravel the hidden secrets of souls and life.
Since my boys are lovers of both animals and nature; this book is the perfect read for them. The author Heba Hamzeh uses the most beautiful descriptive tone, bringing the colours, sounds and surroundings blazing into life. Reading it is an immersive experience, one which I think would be enjoyed just as much by girls as by boys. Dragons, swords, magic, royalty… it has all the ingredients of an old-fashioned page turner.
This was one of those books I really didn’t want to end; especially since it had been so transformative for my youngest sons. But the great news is… there are more in the series! We are all super excited to find out what happens to Prince Zaaki and his true love (or is she?) Star, in the next book in the series.
***Enjoyed this? You might enjoy this post on buying toys children actually play with!