Young Theo Paxstone aspires to a better life. A mechanic at a steam mech repair shop, he slaves away under the sharp eye of the ruthless Master Grimes, along with dozens of other orphan boys. The biggest and meanest of them, Grant, has in it for Theo and his best friend, Ollie, the shop’s parts-spotter cockatoo. The chatty bird helps keep Theo going, as every day is a struggle for survival.
When the largest dragon ever seen descends out of the night sky and sets the royal tournament aflame, Theo escapes to help. He saves a crippled steam knight, Sir Bentham, from the blaze, assisted by Bentham’s pugnacious squire, Riley.
Together, they decide to hunt the monstrous dragon down — before it can kill again.
But nothing is as it seems, and Theo soon finds himself caught up in an adventure that will turn his entire world upside down...
THEO PAXSTONE AND THE DRAGON OF ADYRON is a fast-paced fantasy adventure that brings together steampunk and medieval myths, pitting noble knights in steam powered battle machines against dragons. Yet the feudal Kingdom of Adyron is mired in injustice, and even the heroes have something to hide.
"The author’s dialogue enlivens the story with wit and color, as do his skilled black-and-white illustrations… Full of dangerous flights, mistaken identities, and kids who show incredulous grown-ups that they are more than able to handle themselves, Theo’s tale should satisfy young readers looking for a bit of speculative escapism.” - Kirkus Reviews
"Like some sort of steampunk Robotech without the convoluted timeline, the first adventure of Theo Paxstone features an appealing cast of central characters and an intriguing plot that zips along at a delightful pace. The adventure is serious, but Turner lobs some light touches and natural humour into the fray. The book is such an adept balancing act, your "sauce-box" will drop open when you learn it's his first book for younger readers." - Evan Munday, author of the Silver Birch-shortlisted ‘The Dead Kid Detective Agency'
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 35 members
This action/adventure story pairs well with some well-chosen images in the text. It’s just good fun to read and is made of the stuff of childhood fantasy adventure. Enjoyable!
You know those books that you just vibe with?Well this was %100 my cup of tea. It has just the right amount of grim, and plenty of action. This story follows a young boy named Theo who is honestly too good for his world. I just wanted to hug him! Theo works on machine parts that are extremely old in a repair shop that is runned by Master Grimes and the world in which he lives is full of machines that cause chaos amongst anything they come across. The plot comes in when Theo creates his own machine and teams up with a duo of characters to save his own village from this terrible fate. This book has everything I could ever want in a book. Princesses, dragons, witty characters, fast paced action, steampunk elements! I don't want to say anymore than that as I think this deserves a read where you go in with questions. The questions were what drew me along, anticipating more answers on every page. But I enjoyed the world, the clear-cut system of rules within it. A great and charming read for sure.
I am sorry to say that I started this book, put it down, and tried a few times to get back into it but never did. It just really wasn't my cup of tea.
Because this was an uncorrected copy from Netgalley, there were some spacing and format issues in my version of this book, thankfully the story itself was good enough to make me forget about these while reading. The plot is pretty simple, a boy / Theo from the wrong side of the tracks dreams of being a knight, or in this case a Steam Knight. Boy, saves old knight during a night of horror where a dragon kidnaps the princess. Knight then allows boy to join him and his squire, removing him from the horrid work factory he had been calling home. Squire / Riley turns out to be a girl with witchy powers, who has also dreamed of reversing her lot in life and becoming the very first female Stem Knight. Together this motley crew, along with Theo's side-kick avian pal Ollie head out on the quest of a lifetime to save the princess and rid the kingdom of the dragon once and for all. This is a very well crafted story and the friendship between Theo and Riley is incredibly well written. It is nice to see books with good solid inter-gender friendships. Riley is actually a very interesting character and I would like to see more of her in any additional versions of this story. The characters also learn many lessons about life and death during their quest. Especially when their beloved mentor dies during battle. All in all a really good read and a truly fabulous middle-grade book.
Unfortunately I did not finish this book. But I did enjoy the map and what I did read, I wished that I finished but my book expired before I could do so.
He's a mechanic at the local steam mech repair shop. He has books about a brave knight and dreams of becoming one himself. The fact that he's an orphan and poor has nothing to do with it. He's brave (almost) and has his dreams. While he focuses on being a hero, he's building himself his own steam machine. It looks odd and has his own engineering in the design so it's experimental for the most part. He hasn't run it yet. But he will soon... The author and Net Galley shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you). It has been published and you can grab a copy now. With dragons and witches, knights and knaves, and a conspiracy against the king, this was a fun read. It's got just the right amount of steampunk, gives you characters to love and hate, and you get to watch Theo grow up right before your eyes. When a dragon sets the royal tournament ablaze, Theo sees a way to realize his dreams. He'll slay the dragon and everyone will admire him. The fact that the dragon is huge is just coincidental. There must be some way to kill it. He joins an old knight that gets around in a wheelchair and his squire. His machine was disabled in the disaster so they use Theo's unit. The knight even purchases Theo to go on the quest with him. What Theo learns is that nobody is who they say they are and most have secrets. It's a good thing he's a tough kid or he wouldn't have made it. This was a very good read. I admire Mr. Turner's world building and would read more in this series.
Knights in shining... steam mechs? I love the unexpected setting of this story! Theo is a creative, compassionate, and daring protagonist. I enjoyed reading about his adventures chasing the dragon to save the princess. This was a fun and exciting read!
This is a very unique book, the world and people that are created in the author’s mind will keep you guessing about the next event in the book! Theo, a 13 year old teenager works on machine parts that are hundreds of years old, and they still work! Theo lives in a world that is populated by soldiers with outlandish machines that they travel in and use for fighting, dragons that can eat up a whole town, farmers who try to make a living, and townspeople who try to go about their daily business. Theo builds his own weaponized machine that needs a special type of engine that only wealthy people have, he and a young squire try to help a knight who is injured when a dragon terrorizes Theo’s village. You will have to read the story for yourself to find out about what happens to Theo and his friends when they volunteer to go on a quest to rescue a princess from a dragon!
Thirteen year old Theo Paxstone repairs broken machinery, but hides the steam engine powered steed that he had built. When a dragon terrorizes the royal tournament, Theo saves Sir Bentham and helps his squire Riley out of the flames. The young princess was captured, and most of the steam knights have no interest in going up against a large dragon. Sir Bentham takes Theo on as another squire, and they set out to save the princess. Along the way, they realize that even the most trusted knights in the kingdom has secrets, and they're capable of far more than they thought they were. This is a steampunk feudal society, with plenty of the classist and sexist features in such societies. It doesn't stop Theo from dreaming or trying to reach his goal, and it never makes him hard hearted or mean. He remains idealistic, even when he discovers the truth about his heroes, and doesn't back down when his quest is difficult or frightening. Riley, originally standoffish and not eager to make friends, has reason as well. The characters are all fairly likable, and the plot, once it really kicks in about half way through, sucks you in and takes off. The beginning is largely about setting the stage and introducing the characters, making you care what happens to them. It drags a bit in spots, but is still entertaining. Theo and Riley are great characters that middle grade readers can really connect with.
My girls really enjoyed reading this one with me. It's a little slow at times, but well worth the time invested. Steampunk fantasy at middle grade level perfectly suited for that age group. My girls want to read more by this author!
Located in a sort of post-apocalyptic fantay world, with steam engines, knights and kingdoms, dragons and all sorts of dangerous creatures, and mecha (ie a robot that works steam piloted by a gentleman who is a noble) this is a fun adventure. Imagine mutant evil things as bad consequences of a magical war and forgotten tech extracted from buried buildings. Theo Paxstone is an orphan who, at the age of 13, works as an apprentice in a junkyard shop under the orders of an abusive Master Grimes. He does not remember parents or living in the street, only the workshop and all the other kids living like him, fixing and polishing machinery to sell it. But Theo's dreams are of knights, of his hero Sir Drake, and of handling a robot invented by himself, and living adventures according to the code of honor. His best friend is a cockatiel that serves as a seeker of machine parts for the workshop. It is a bird that longs for his life as a messenger and a more comfortable life where you can eat to your liking. More sensible than Theo, however, has great loyalty for his friend. The tournament where the royal family comes, which brings the arrival of a great dragon that sows chaos, comes to change Theo's life, because there he helps an old knight and his squire. His adventure time has arrived! But, well, maybe not everything is what it seems .... It is interesting, on the other hand, the glimpses of a world that existed before, of old buildings buried where spirits inhabit, of technology forgotten with 900 years of antiquity, where instead of radioactive mutations, corruption is spoken of by magical wars. Monsters lurk in the world, and it seems a very difficult life. Here the political intrigues are a fact. As well as the prejudices against witches. At times between the old gentleman and Theo's idealism, together with this image, they reminded me of Don Quixote. Where Sancho would be Ollie, of course; P I like the squires. And the old gentleman, Bertham. Did I already say there are dragons? Warning: Warning: There are quite a few deaths right and left, to be a children's book- ABOUT THIS ARC: -There are about half a dozen editing problems in this e-arc copy, missing or excess-wrong letters, so I could realize. -There is a change of name of the mare: from Pumpkin to Daisy at the end. http://theopaxstone.blogspot.com/ +Digital arc gently provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review+
This is an imaginative adventure full of detail and creativity. I would gladly share this text with readers, old and young. Engaging!
For my first ever Steampunk story, Theo Paxstone and the Dragon of Adyron was a good introduction to the genre, particularly for the middle grade audience. The characters were so likable, and the book was just an enjoyable read. The title belies a more complex plot, as Theo-though the titular character-is not the most important character in the story. He meets up with an old knight and his squire after an unexpected attack on the kingdom, and the trio set off to thwart disaster. I definitely liked that the steampunk technology was not a main character. Turner does a fantastic job not boring his readers with overly long pontifications about the steam mechs in the story, and he does not lazily rely on the sparkly terminology for all of the gadgets to fill in space and make for a longer narrative. There is no assumption that the reader is ignorant, and the world building is seamlessly interwoven in the plot to quicken the pace of the story. This book is perfect for any reader from about 4th to 6th grade that likes adventure stories with no mush. The only negative thing I have to say is that there is no hard copy available. If there were, I would have already bought a couple of copies for my local library.
Really imaginative, extraordinary and good written thing, full of creativity. I could buy this to kid, also I recommend to any alduts there who like adventure stories. Map was cool. I enjoyed this more than I was expecting.
I really enjoyed this book, I think that it had a good balance of heavy and lighthearted moments. I personally think this is a good book for middle school aged children, as I also let my brother who is in middle school read it and he absolutely loved it and even recommended it to his friends.
A classic story of the poor low-class boy coming to the rescue of an abducted princess, got the help of an old knight, going to fight the traitor, win the day, and end be knighted. The originality is the post-apocalyptic medieval steampunk universe, with a touch of magic. Someone made quite the same in science fiction movie and it ends as Starwars. This book is for the 9-12 years, the few deaths are just mentioned with no gruesome details, there more each day on the TV. A nice reading which could have sequels
As my 5th grade son and I read this one together we quickly realized it was tailored to him perfectly. We both loved the steampunk world and the details really immersed us into the story. Theo was beyond amazing for a main character and as an aspiring creator and engineer my son found his hero in Theo with all his machine building skills. He was brave and smart and kind and everything you want kids this age reading about. I also loved many of the supporting characters and appreciated that while there were deaths they weren't overly done in a gruesome way. The lessons throughout the story were perfect for the middle age group. I truly adored the knight and dragons theme within the steampunk world it was unique and fun and built the perfect setting for adventure. It was charming and very well written, I'm hoping there are more of Theo's adventures to enjoy in the future.
You know those books that you just vibe with? Well this was %100 my cup of tea. It has just the right amount of grim, and plenty of action. This story follows a young boy named Theo who is honestly too good for his world. I just wanted to hug him! Theo works on machine parts that are extremely old in a repair shop that is runned by Master Grimes and the world in which he lives is full of machines that cause chaos amongst anything they come across. The plot comes in when Theo creates his own machine and teams up with a duo of characters to save his own village from this terrible fate. This book has everything I could ever want in a book. Princesses, dragons, witty characters, fast paced action, steampunk elements! I don't want to say anymore than that as I think this deserves a read where you go in with questions. The questions were what drew me along, anticipating more answers on every page. But I enjoyed the world, the clear-cut system of rules within it. A great and charming read for sure.
Good for: lovers of steampunk, dragons, and feel-good adventures In this book, Theo Paxstone gets to live his dream of fighting in a mech suit when a dragon attacks a tournament. He rescues an affable knight who is trapped under a lance, and then the adventure begins. Why are dragons attacking tournaments? Theo is going to find out. This book is a charming, quick read. If you are reading on Kindle, the formatting is a bit clunky, but the lovely illustrations more than make up for it.
Got this free from NetGalley and to be fair I don’t really like Middle Grade or Steam Punk. Loved a lot of the world building, but in the end the beginning moved too slowly for me to get into it. My kids wanted me to keep reading but I veto’d them and started a new one.
While I enjoyed this book's descriptive scenes and settings, I felt a sense of "familiarity" that often gave me a 'liked it but didn't love it' impression. Theo is a good protagonist though with an interesting voice - but the rest of it felt middling to me unfortunately. Definitely not the worst read though.
Steampunk meets Chivalry in this adventure story of Theo Paxton a mechanically gifted youth, working for a Greedy shop owner. Then during on the eve of the Steam Knight tournament, a villainous dragon swoops into town and kidnaps the Princess. This book was fantastic and would also be a great graphic novel adaptation or movie. I liked that the characters developed a great friendship and learned to trust each other., they were willing to listen to another point of view and then make wiser decisions. #Theopaxstone #NetGalley #ARC
I enjoyed the steampunk novel set in the medieval time period. The characters were well developed and the plot was non stop action. I could not put the book down. I am looking forward to sequel by Turner.
"It's the end of the school year, a summer of reading" is what I tell my students as I am preparing their summer homework package. Trying to pinpoint the kinds of books that can be enjoyed with prepared activities to follow up their reading. Theo Paxstone and the Dragon of Adyron by James Turner perfectly fitting summer read for Middle School Students and up. A medieval steampunk adventure that doesn't labor with boredom but also doesn't cheapen its exploits with lame humor, the writing by James Turner strikes a balance of wit, intrigue, and well-rounded characters, perfect for students looking to get into steampunk novels. Theo Paxstone and the Dragon of Adyron is a world of knights, dragons, weaponized machines, and Theo, our young hero in a world of soldiers, class system with a minor commentary of the struggles of the working class, the rich with all of their advantages and how to best a dragon that is terrorizing your village. Theo life is an everyday struggle to outwit the orphan boys, working for "the man" in this case Master Grimes and having a cockatoo for a best friend, page after page a reader's appreciation will grow. James Turner created a fun world for young readers to get into and to imagine the words on the pages coming alive placing themselves in Theo's shoes because summer is the time to exercise that imagination that is constricted by exams and quizzes during the school year.
Theo Paxstone and the Dragon of Adyron is a fun fantasy story designed for younger readers, but one that adults will enjoy too. Set in a post-apocalypse world, where the old world of technology and science has fallen into myth and legend, the story follows young orphan Theo. Theo is stuck working in the junkyard shop of Master Grimes, worked in sweatshop like conditions for long hours. Whilst there are many downsides of his life, this does mean that Theo has learnt to become a mechanical genius. Having secretly worked on his own steam knight armour in a hidden corner of the junkyard, Theo dreams of one day getting to be a steam knight, piloting a huge suit of armour equipped with flaming lances and missiles. The steam knights are definitely one of the cooler parts of the book, and uses the post apocalypse fantasy element of the world to full effect, giving us massive mech armour that lumber into battle firing gatling guns and clashing with huge swords. When the royal family comes to the city, complete with a huge following of steam knights, Theo thinks that he'll get the chance to sneak away from the junkyard and watch the knights in action during the tournament. Unfortunately, before the festivities can really get underway a massive dragon attacks, killing many knights and kidnapping the princess. During the attack Theo finds a trapped knight, Sir Bertham, and helps to free him from the burning wreckage alongside Bertham's squire Riley. After helping the old knight Bertham buys Theo's freedom from Master Grimes, and gives Theo the opportunity to join him and Riley on their mission to rescue the princess from the giant dragon. The quest that the three of them set out on, saving a princess from a dragon, is one of the most clichéd ones around, but James Turner manages to make it feel fresh and interesting. This is in large parts thanks to the setting, and the small events that beset the group along the way. The four of them have to contend with huge mutant wolves, monstrous lake creatures, and even evil knights on their journey. Along the way we also get to learn a little more about the characters, and we learn that Riley and Bertham have some secrets to them. The characters and story have enough twists and turns in them to keep events interesting, and prevents the plot from falling into any of the expected clichés. The setting and world is fairly interesting, and James Turner gives the sense that he's thought a lot about the world and the history, even if it doesn't always get the spotlight in the story itself. There's a lot of references to places and events that we never see, and often don't get explained in any real depth. This makes the world feel bigger than just what we're seeing, but there is a downside to this, the world feels big, but not hugely deep. We never learn what happened to the old world, why some people have powers, if those powers are magic or down to some technological advance or mutation. I can't help but feel that some more time could have been given over to these elements, but then it becomes a matter of having to fill the reader in on history without it feeling too dull or like a history text. It's a fine line to walk, and whilst it mostly works here, there were a fair few times I wanted more. Theo Paxstone and the Dragon of Adyron is a book that will appeal to most age groups, and would be a great book for a parent to read with their kid.
Not great, not horrible. A bit on the young side, even for the suggested reading age-group. If you have younger readers interested in the genre, this might be a good choice. Not recommending for purchase.
I was very, very pleasantly surprised reading this book. I was not sure what to expect, when I first got it from Netgalley but I'm very pleased with what I ended up with. I loved the writing and the main character, Theo, and the worldbuilding. It was a mix of medival times and steam punk and I had never thought of combining those two. I'm happy to say that it totally works. At times the book got a little long but there were no overcomplicated explanations of the technology. The plot was complex and I was immersed in the story. I would definitely read more by this author, I had a great time readin this book.
I really struggled to write my review for this book. This was a fun, middle-grade adventure set in a steampunk fantasy world, with dragons, sorcerers, various other creatures including a talking bird (who I thought was wonderful and deserves a big ole mention here). The story was very easy to read, and the illustrations were really well done, but I found myself struggling to figure out what age range this book is for. (Obviously anyone can enjoy this, but I’ll explain why I’m confused). So the story is easy to follow, the dialogue is simplistic and it’s accessible for younger readers. However, there were some really complicated words thrown in here which just didn’t fit. I thought the world itself was wonderful, but the many different religions told to us weren’t explained fully, and therefore felt complicated also. These reasons, on top of the several death scenes (which on some occasions were quite graphic), is why I’ve given this 2 stars. It’s as if the book is trying to target too many audiences all at once and it just didn’t work for me, which I’m really sad about!
Thank you netgalley for providing me digital arc of this book in an exchange of honest review. Keywords: middle grade, fantasy, steampunk Theo Paxstone and the Dragon of Adyron is a children book about a young orphan named Theo and his adventure. He is smart and capable mechanic who dreamt about being a knight in shining armor. The story is simple and easy to read. It's also fun and quite engaging with interesting characters on board. It's a cute short read. Recommeded for young readers.
🐉 Theo Paxstone and the Dragon of Adyron by James Turner 🐉 _________________________________________________ Young Theo Paxstone aspires to a better life. A mechanic at a steam mech repair shop, he slaves away under the sharp eye of the ruthless Master Grimes, along with dozens of other orphan boys. The biggest and meanest of them, Grant, has in it for Theo and his best friend, Ollie, the shop’s parts-spotter cockatoo. The chatty bird helps keep Theo going, as every day is a struggle for survival. ________________________________________________ This was such a high fantasy based book. If you’re a big fan of fantasy then I highly suggest this. This book would be perfect for all you adventure loving people. Such a lovely middle grade story about a 13 year old boy named Theo who dreams of being a knight. He’s accompanied by a cockatiel who serves as his messenger but also a very loyal friend. Later on he meets a knight in which he goes on a journey with. This is where the adventure begins. I really appreciate this book and thought it was such a fun and enjoyable ride. It was full of many surprises and lovely moments. Honestly I really thought it was a great read. I really loved how it had some steampunk vibes to it and I really think that added such a unique twist to it. My only problem would be that this book was a bit on the lower read for me. I normally read YA or Adult, but I decided to give this story a shot. It was a good one, but I would suggest this for children. Also, I read an e-book and there were a few problems with it. The writing style wasn’t my favorite. Still a great read and storyline. I think this is the perfect book for parents to read with their children. It’s such an adventure throughout the whole story with these great characters. Children will definitely enjoy this because of the dragon, knight, adventure, and overall the whole storyline. _____________________________________________ Rating: 3/5 ⭐️ _____________________________________________ **I was provided an e-book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and James Turner**
I've never read a Steampunk story before this one but I really enjoyed this book as an introduction to the genre. I love the cover. Theo Paxstone a 13-year-old orphan works as an apprentice in a junk yard, though he dreams of a different life of knights and adventures.
A fun, quick read although slow to get going in parts. The characters are likeable and I can see how many young boys may be able to relate to and be inspired by Theo.
I always enjoy a good underdog story, and Theo escaping the futility of existing with a greedy junkyard boss fits that description. His special talents for mechs and building things aren't superpowers, but they make him an unassuming hero. The most interesting part of the book is the relationship between Theo and Riley. They're very competitive in gaining Sir Bentham's favor, and Riley especially tries to take advantage of situations. Theo can't figure out the problem until he discovers Riley's secret. Sir Drake is another interesting character, although there are numerous hints along the way that he's not an honorable man. In contrast, Sir Bentham is an extremely honest and noble knight, but he can't physically handle the skills of a warrior. He's lost his legs, but his knowledge is invaluable. The plot boils down to rescuing the princess, but it's clear something's going on with the dragon. In the end, Theo and Riley unlock the mystery of its behavior and use that information to make a plan. The book contains plenty of action and adventure, so it can be enjoyed by most middle-grade readers. I highly recommend you give it a shot.