I read this one in Dutch and that means that I will be, with the exception of Max (or Sam as she is called in my Dutch edition) and her uncle Budrick (Berend in Dutch), use the Dutch names. Max/Sam and her uncle are easily found in the blurb and the title, but the rest of the characters, nope. I could of course write the review in Dutch, but my mind automatically started writing a review in English, so I will go with that. Haha. Please keep that in mind before you comment I am using the wrong names.
It starts with Big Nate handing over a report to his teacher, I really loved that, that while this is another work by Lincoln Peirce that they are connected in a way. Then the story starts! And what a story it was. We meet Max and her uncle, see them getting robbed, see them travel to a city that didn’t bring all the best memories back to Budrick, and from there things really get fun and exciting!
They arrive at a wonderful city, or well, it was supposed to be wonderful but an evil guy is now ruling it. When Budrick gets kidnapped it is up to Max and her new friends to get rescuing and I loved seeing them make plans, figure out everyone’s positions, and more. I laughed a lot, as not everything goes right, as I was already hoping for. I mean, it just gets so boring if things go right all the time.
I had a big laugh at the fact that Max is a girl and then especially the reactions of people to that fact. I have to say she had me fooled as well! I hadn’t really read the blurb so it was a total surprise to me. The whole thing comes back a few times in the book, and I have to say after a while I got a bit tired of it. We get it. You are all surprised.
I loved the name of the city, it is called Idyllië (Idyllic in English) and well, with the right king it is indeed a pretty nice place to live!
I really loved the side characters. The three other kids who formed the Midknights (or, in Dutch: Shaduwridders (shadowknights)), Ellie, Alwin, and Simon. Ellie was definitely my favourite out of these three, I loved what she finds and how it makes her happy. No, I won’t tell you what, but I was delightfully surprised and I am sure she will be awesome at it, she has the talent for it. Alwin was a fun one and I love that he wants to be a writer. Then there is Simon, who wants to be a knight, just like Max. He was forgettable, sorry Simon.
I loved that the wizard was called Murmelijn, which just fitted perfect with his character, and I loved how much he did for everyone.
The evil villains also have brilliant names, Fendra and Brutus. Those are just perfect! They are very evil and will do anything to keep ruling Idyllië. Anything. For real. We find out later what they all did to take over the city and boy oh boy.
There are tons of twists and turns, and no I won’t spoil them, you will just have to read this delightful book yourself. I really loved the adventure, the journey, and how brave our group of kids was. There were tons of silly and funny moments that had me laughing. I loved seeing how they made friends, discovered the truth, and more. I never once was bored while reading this one, in fact, I was just sad when it was over. I just hope the Online Library gets the next one soon, or that the libraries open up again. Not sure which one is faster, haha.
Just like in Big Nate, this one also features a healthy dose of comics to get the story along/to tell the story. I really loved it!
The ending made me smile and it was a really good one! I am happy for all the characters!
All in all, highly recommend if you are into adventurous stories with magic and humour!