Genre: Junior Fantasy/Dystopian
Recommended Age: 10+
Favorite Quote: “Why did I ever try to steal a sunstone?”
Tal has lived his life in darkness and he’s never left the castle he resides in. Only when his father goes missing and his mother is near certain death does he dare to climb one of the towers to reach the sunstones. With a sunstone he can move his family up move levels and provide better health care for his mother. But when he falls from the tower and lands in an unknown world, how will he make it back to save his family?
Some of the things that Garth Nix is excellent at are world-building and character development. His skills shine brightly in this this first book of the Seventh Tower series! Nix is able to craft a new world and make it appear in your imagination so effortlessly. He’s also able to provide memorable characters that have strong development. This particular skill was evident in this novel because at the beginning of the book Tal is a very weak character in that he looks to others for help very often, but as the character is pushed to act he responds reluctantly at first and then with ease later on. The other main character, Milla, is a very strong character as well. Nix has never disappointed me with how he writes female characters. They are always very strong and independent, much like how George RR Martin writes his female characters. Nix also did well in other important areas of the book such as: pacing, plot development, quality of writing, etc.
The plot and pacing had a natural flow to it that didn’t seem forced or unnatural, which made the reading very easy to follow and to get sucked into. The quality of writing was also excellent and very age appropriate for children. The book was also very enjoyable. This could easily be a book you could enjoy with your child or read on your own at whatever age you are. The story isn’t just for children, but adults as well.
The only complaint I had with the book was that I wasn’t sure if the world building was too extensive for a children’s book. Usually first books are devoted to world building for the most part, but when you’re writing for a children’s tale you have to be aware that you need to keep your target audience’s attention. I guess my answer to my own complaint is that it would depend on the child if they like this type of world building.
Overall, Nix wrote yet another series I will more than likely enjoy and you should buy these for yourself or your children!