Hello my lovely bookworms and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody! I am super excited to be a part of this book tour. Check out the tour schedule here, hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours!
A boy who accidentally bonds with a magical Beast must set off on an adventure in the mysterious Woods.
The last thing Barclay Thorne ever wanted was an adventure.
Thankfully, as an apprentice to the town’s mushroom farmer, Barclay need only work hard and follow the rules to one day become the head mushroom farmer himself. No danger required. But then Barclay accidentally breaks his town’s most sacred rule: never ever EVER stray into the Woods, for within the Woods lurk vicious magical Beasts.
To Barclay’s horror, he faces a fate far worse than being eaten: he unwittingly bonds with a Beast and is run out of town by an angry mob. Determined to break this bond and return home, Barclay journeys to find the mysterious town of Lore Keepers, people who have also bonded with Beasts and share their powers.
But after making new friends, entering a dangerous apprenticeship exam, and even facing the legendary Beast of the Woods, Barclay must make a difficult choice: return to the home and rules he’s always known, or embrace the adventure awaiting him.
I received an ARC from TBR & Beyond Tours, and the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
This book was an absolute delight to read. It was full of heart and so much adventure. I haven’t read a middle grade fantasy book in so long and I’m so glad that this tour came along. It filled a void in my heart I didn’t realize I had. Barclay Thorne is the main character that this book centers on. He is a mushroom apprentice in a town that LOVES rules and hates the forest, along with everything in it. He is thrust into the magical world, which is something he doesn’t take kindly to when he accidentally forms a bond with a magical beast. He meets a young girl named Viola, who is a Lore Keeper, with a dragon-like beast named Mitzi and at first they butt-heads on a lot of things but in the end, they have a pretty strong friendship. Viola is a strong-willed, independent girl and I loved how she didn’t let Barclay’s backwards “hometown” mindset get in the way of helping him, and showing him the truth of the world of Lore Keepers and helping him find a place to belong.
The story and world building is immersive and well done. I loved all the different beasts and that you could collect all different types, and they gave you magic, which is called Lore, to use. Some beasts are every day helper types and others are more battle ready. I loved that there was dueling but that strength does not always win over smarts and ingenuity. There was definitely some evil shenanigans that the children had to protect themselves against, but it was done light-hearted, with lots of warmth, and humor. I loved the lessons that this story conveyed.
Overall, I think kids will devour this book and be impatiently waiting for the second one to come out….I know I am. I can’t wait to see the next adventure Barclay and Viola go on and what world awaits them outside the forest.
“I don’t like mushrooms! … They’re slimy, and they taste like dirt!”
“I turned you away because you aren’t meant for this. You think staying in Dullshire is the life you were supposed to have…” “They’re proud of you, I’m sure, but they’d rather you find a path of your own.”
“When Barclay ran, it was very hard to catch him.”
“I know this might be hard to believe, but just because you don’t know how to do something doesn’t mean it’s impossible”
“Of course it’s dangerous, Barclay thought. Everything here is.”
“Is being a Lore Keeper really such a terrible thing? … Are we all just as terrible as you thought we were?”
“They matched in so many ways. Both stubborn. Both teasing. Both wild.”
“If a person or a town is willing to cast you out, then maybe they don’t deserve to have you come back.”
Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After a double life as an accountant preparing taxes for multinational corporations, she now spends her free time brewing and fermenting foods much more easily obtained at her local grocery store. She lives in Boston, MA with a hoard of books guarded by the most vicious of feline companions, Jelly Bean.
Her books include The Shadow Game seriesand more. Her middle grade debut, Wilderlore: The Accidental Apprentice, hits shelves March 30, 2021, and her next YA novel, All of Us Villains, co-authored with Christine Lynn Herman, releases on November 9, 2021.
Well, my lovely bookworms, I hope you add this wonderful book to your TBR’s or have already picked it up to read because it is out now! Let me know in the comments below. And as always, happy reading!