I saw this book a few times whilst browsing through Bookstagram and the wonderful cover caught my eye. It reminded me of an eighties adventure movie (my favourite type of movie). So when the author J.T. contacted me to ask if I could review both Countryside books I was absolutely thrilled!
“You have a power within you, one that is within everyone…It’s the same power that fills that building, that keeps that tree alive…and the same power that has attracted your attention…I know it’s all a bit strange to you, but I assure you it is quite real…”
Eleven-year-old Luke Rayburn has never seen a skyline without skyscrapers or fallen asleep to anything but the sound of traffic. But his life is about to change in ways he never imagined. When his father leaves for a year of military service, Luke and the rest of his family move into their grandparents’ home in the remote town of Countryside, a place like no other. Reachable only by a mysterious traveling tunnel and horse-drawn carriage, centaurs roam the landscape and shadowy wraiths slip among the trees. There, Luke will be drawn into a centuries-old quest for an almost-forgotten book whose secrets will determine the fate of the world. He will have to reach deep to discover the power within him as he battles the forces of darkness and an alliance of sinister men who seek to destroy any who get in their way. Luke’s only hope is to find the book before they do, but to do so he’ll need help from someone he never expected as the forces of evil come to bear on the magical world of Countryside.
The books themselves are even more wonderful in real life, the covers and the artwork really are amazing.
I was really really excited about this book. The story sounded perfect, definitely my kind of book. I did get worried however, because whenever I get this excited about a book I am left feeling slightly deflated after reading it. Thankfully this was NOT the case with Countryside.
The world that Cope creates is fantastic. The description is perfectly balanced, never taking anything away from the plot, but giving the reader enough information to really be able to visualise the scenery and characters. The characters were well developed. Luke in particular was very likeable. Although young and, at times, naive Luke is well-mannered to his parents and elders and kind to everyone he meets. He has the air of a character that child readers can grow up with. I hope this is the case as the Countryside books continue. I can’t forget Marti, endearing, funny and loves books (definitely one of my favourite characters), I hope to see much more of him in the next book.
The plot is your typical coming-of-age story, with heart-warming moral messages throughout. There are similarities to well known books such as Harry Potter (this is in no way a bad thing!) making it a comfortable and familiar read, with added fresh and original twists to keep you guessing.
All in all Countryside: The Book of The Wise is a wonderfully woven fantasy tale that really sucked me in. It is a lovely story of friendship, family and adventure, with a whole host of spellbinding magic thrown in. I definitely recommend to children and adults alike. I cant wait to get stuck into Countryside: The Tears of Adina!