The Battle of the Snake
by Karen Cossey
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Pub Date 01 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 04 Oct 2022
One snap of a cloak clasp was all it took to turn Kinsey's life upside down. Minding her own business had been her motto, but when she saw the gorgeous cloak left, abandoned, in the middle of the Pixie Forest, she couldn’t resist trying it on.
The air seemed to hold its breath as she clicked the clasp shut: and the next moment she realized she wasn’t truly alone.
For out from behind a tree stepped a snow-white unicorn who spoke these fateful words: “That’s it then, you’re the one.” The one? The one what? It takes a whirl wind of adventures to convince Kinsey that there is more for her life than simply being a kitchen maid.
But even after facing off against dragons, wolves, mungas and jogotchies will Crimson her unicorn companion convince her she really is ready to defeat the evil Lord known as the Snake and his hordes of evil creatures? Is she really The One? Or is she an imposter?
Review of Earlier Edition
"When I was a child, I often fantasized about being chosen for a quest -- for destiny to come knocking and have something epic to say. For kids who can relate, The Battle of the Snake will take you on that epic quest ... Filled with magic, fantasy and action-adventure that never stops, this is one for the kids ready to say yes to the quest." - Shaye Wardrop, Kid's Book Review
Average rating from 3 members
This was a really well done fantasy novel, I enjoyed the world and the magic within it. It was a great start to this series and made me excited to read more in this world. The plot was what I was expecting and I really enjoyed getting to go through this book. The characters worked in this world and I was glad I was able to go on this adventure with them. Karen Cossey has a great writing style and I look forward to more from her.
"How could he have left us? I would have wanted to stay with him. Did he not realize how my heart broke to lose him? I stopped walking and crossed my arms, rocking a little in the sand. Father placed his hands on his knees and looked at me, level with my eyes. “You would have been killed if you stayed with me, my dear heart.” He reached his hand into my hair and pushed it behind my ear."
The plot moves very quickly. The first chapter finds Kinsey, an ordinary kitchen maid, donning a cape, meeting a unicorn named Crimson, and defeating a river dragon. Crimson renames her Malin, meaning Little Warrior, and she begins her role as a young boy squiring with Sir Ivor. The adventure finds her traveling the country with Crimson in anticipation of war and few pages are wasted between stops. Malin learns new fighting skills from the unicorn and a character they meet along the way and the magic of the cape seems to offer help too. The cape actually performs as a toolbox as it contains many hidden uses that Malin slowly discovers.
The prologue tells readers that unicorns existed when the Creator of All was forming the world and they’re tasked with monitoring humans and protecting the world from evil. Crimson is the only unicorn in the book and she is an interesting character to consider. On the one hand, she’s an ageless creature with an awareness of the world and all of its inhabitants. She wields magical abilities that aren’t often used but Malin draws strength from her presence. On the other hand, Crimson is vulnerable to attack and isn’t always aware of everything happening around her. Her signs of fragility are in contrast to her seemingly powerful, eternal presence.
The plot includes action scenes that should appeal to young readers. In addition to the river dragon, Malin battles many other creatures that come in a range of sizes and challenges. She’s not even safe sleeping in trees as some creatures have acute senses of smell and hearing and are trained for hunting. Malin finds that she’ll need to perfect her archery skills in order to stop some threats from a distance as the Snake is able to send attackers in many different forms. Danger constantly awaits Malin throughout her journey.
What didn’t work as well:
While the plot moves swiftly, this results in a lack of character and plot development. Readers aren’t required to infer much as the narrator literally informs them of all problems and everything happening. There’s little need for reader imagination, thinking, or predicting. This may appeal to novice readers but those with more experience may miss a mental connection with the story.
The Final Verdict:
The exciting adventure and the partnership between Malin and Crimson create the foundation for a thrilling book. The lack of detail may leave some readers wanting more from the characters and story but it will be very entertaining for those wanting a quick read. I recommend you give this book a shot.
Readers who liked this book also liked:
Erin S. Evan
Rhys Bowen; Clare Broyles