Title: The DungeoneersI am so incredibly excited about this new book from John David Anderson! The Dungeoneers has action and humor in spades, as well as some really fantastic friendships. Plus, I am sincerely hoping that it will inspire readers to take part in some role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons!
Author: John David Anderson
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Pub. Date: June 23, 2015
Genre: Middle Grade
Rec. Age Level: 8-12
More by this author: Sidekicked, Minion
The Dungeoneers is an action-packed, funny, and heartbreaking middle grade fantasy-adventure from the author of the acclaimed Sidekicked and Minion, John David Anderson.
The world is not a fair place, and Colm Candorly knows it. While his parents and eight sisters seem content living on a lowly cobbler's earnings, Colm can't help but feel that everyone has the right to a more comfortable life. It's just a question of how far you're willing to go to get it.
In an effort to help make ends meet, Colm uses his natural gift for pickpocketing to pilfer a pile of gold from the richer residents of town, but his actions place him at the mercy of a mysterious man named Finn Argos, a gilded-toothed, smooth-tongued rogue who gives Colm a choice: he can be punished for his thievery, or he can become a member of Thwodin's Legions, a guild of dungeoneers who take what they want and live as they will. Colm soon finds himself part of a family of warriors, mages, and hunters, learning to work together in a quest to survive and, perhaps, to find a bit of treasure along the way.
When Colm Candorly discovers he's a natural pickpocket, his parents are worried - after all, the punishment for pickpocketing is the loss of a hand. So they send Colm to train with Thwodin's Legions, a guild of dungeoneers who will be able to give Colm the training he needs. Soon Colm is training with Finn Argos, learning the art of being a rogue.
Of course, a dungeoneer rarely works alone and Colm is no exception. Three new friends train alongside him: Lena Proudmore, a barbarian-to-be; Serene Willowtree, an almost-druid; and Quinn Frostfoot, a mageling. I loved this group of goofy Dungeoneers. Each has hilarious and memorable little quirks, but, together, they're quite the team. I honestly can't say which character I liked best!
One of the things that I really love about this book is how it has the potential to be a gateway to role-playing games. I very recently played Dungeons & Dragons for the first time and I am so disappointed that I didn't discover it at a younger age. Role-playing games are great excuse to gather with friends, as well as a fantastic way to stretch your imagination. Creating characters and figuring out how those characters will react to situations and fellow players is a really wonderful way to foster creativity. I found the whole experience really inspiring and can only imagine the impact it would have had when I was younger. On the other hand, The Dungeoneers is also a stellar option to get gamers who might be non-readers reading.
I'm hoping that we'll see more of these characters in the future. The book has a satisfying conclusion, but there was definitely room for Colm and his friends to embark on more adventures. Fingers crossed!
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