Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review: Captured, by Maggie L. Wood

Captured, Book 1 of The Divided Realms, is a typical fantasy about a princess, some knights and some kings and queens, but adds a unique element because these kingdoms are under a spell and are caught in a chess game!

Willow is our main character and is raised on Earth, but when she’s 15, she gets transported back to her true world where she is a princess. Her parents were from two different kingdoms and these kingdoms are under the spell of an evil faerie prince who has pitted them against each other in a chess game. Willow’s parents have already been captured, as well as many other chess pieces. Does this mean they are dead? It’s up to Willow to bring these kingdoms back together and fight for their freedom from this curse.

Wood has managed to include some magic, action, adventure, danger and romance. The fantasy is believable, the settings are convincing, and Willow is a loveable character who handles the confusion and challenges of her new existence with maturity. I haven’t played chess for a long time, but I remember that pawns can’t move backwards (you’ll see what I mean when you read it.) I thought the obstacles of the chess game added much to this fantasy.

The only complaint I had about the book is the number of characters. I got confused at times, but there’s a list, by kingdom, at the beginning of the book, so that helped.

Anyone who loves fantasy adventure stories would enjoy this, and it’s certainly appropriate for middle school students. Book 2, The Darkening, is already published, and the third book in the series will be out in Spring of 2012.

Published by Lobster Press, May 1, 2011
Copy obtained for review from Linworth Publishing
284 pages

Rating: 4/5

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