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Chantel’s Quest for the Enchanted Medallion by Oliver Neubert (final thoughts)

June 26, 2010

The mysterious, yet influential Evil One has had a hold on the Four Lands for some time. Now it is up to 12-year-old Chantel to put an end to her reign by collecting each Land’s ancient relic. She’s already successfully retrieved the Golden Sword from the North, now she must search for the Enchanted Medallion of the South. Fortunately she doesn’t have to go it alone, she has her trusty sidekicks fox bat and mouse (who can turn into Mighty Warrior) with her.

Chantel’s Quest for the Enchanted Medallion is the second book in Oliver Neubert’s Quest series, what would likely be categorized as middle grade books. I haven’t read the first book, so I was a little worried I would feel a bit lost in this world that Neubert has created. Truthfully, I did at first, because Chantel is still processing what happened during her first quest and a lot of names get thrown around. Thankfully it didn’t take too long to for names and events to be explained, so I was able to feel more comfortable in the story.

So, Chantel sets out to find the Enchanted Medallion, which isn’t so easy as she has two Warlards, one from the South and another full of revenge from the North, doing all they can to stop her. It doesn’t take too long for the action to start, and I was pretty surprised at how action-packed Chantel’s adventure was. However, Chantel doesn’t only have to deal with outward threats, she also has to overcome some internal struggles. The Evil One keeps tempting her to use dark power, which Chantel must resist.

There were lots of big Messages packed into the book. Such as the importance of working as a team, living simply, resisting temptation to do wrong. Some new-age-y stuff also popped up, like practicing meditation to see your Inner Light, which isn’t really my thing. At a couple points it felt like these messages were going to detract from Neubert’s storytelling, but for the most part they fit in to the story quite nicely.

The one thing I had trouble with was keeping all the characters straight. There were a number of main players – each of the four lands had their own Wise One, Spirit, and Warlord. However, each character, including the main players, seemed to go by a number of different names. For example, Chantel was also called the Princess of Freedom and the Last Descendent. Besides keeping those names straight, I had a hard time figuring out what each of the titles meant, what role they had, and what the relationship between each of them was. I have an inkling that this would have all made much more sense if I had read the first book. If you’ve read the first book, I’d be interested to find out if these are explained a bit more.

Overall, it was an entertaining read, but I’m not sure I’ll read the other books in the series. However, if you know a middle grade reader who’s into fantasy/action, I’d suggest giving this series a try!

My rating: 7/10

Soundtrack Saturday

Note: I won this Advanced Readers Copy in a contest. Some details may have been changed in the final copy.

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