Subversive Reader Reviews: The Secret of the Swords (AWW2013)

Book reviews and AWW posts can be found here.

AWW2013 – Book 34

The Secret of the Swords

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: The Secret of the Swords

Frances Watts
Childrens Speculative Novel

Kindle eBook


Tommy (Thomasina) is a kitchen girl who loves to watch the knights practicing in the great courtyard. After she has a battle with one of the boys from the armoury, she finds herself with a new position. But the swords are not what they seem at first . . .

Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed with this book. I think I’ve been spoilt by Frances Watts’ picture books, where she uses beautiful, descriptive language – even when using very few words. This is a book for early readers, short and simple, and is unfortunately free of the beautiful, distinctive language of the picture books. I have ‘thoughts’ on simple language in early reader books – I think it’s possible to include descriptions while using easier words, and in fact I think that those descriptive phrases are required to produce early readers that are also good books.

I like the characters in this book, the first of a series, and I think that this book would appeal to both boys and girls. I’d be interested to see if the language is expanded on by the second book (afterall, if you get through the first book, your reading should have improved for the second one!) but I think I’d look for it from a library, rather than buying it.


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