Source: NetGalley, thank you to the publisher!
TL;DR: A somewhat predictable middle grade, but full of magic and wonder that younger readers will enjoy.
Plot: A very straight forward ‘Find someone, tasked with a quest, complete quest, etc’ structure
Characters: The writing style stays a step away from the inside of the characters, making them feel a little flat if not fun to imagine
Setting: The setting is a very simple magic world, the focus more on the quest and actions of the characters
Magic: Very light on the description of ‘how’ but a lot of it. So young readers will enjoy it
A Breath of Mischief is a classic fantasy story for young readers telling of a quest to find a missing guardian. Aria is a young girl raised by the wind, who suddenly finds herself attempting to save the Wind from a man who gives her a classic riddle quest. Of course things are not as the seem, and the man most definitely does not have the best of intentions – but that’s for Aria and her companion Gwen to find out along the way.
As far as fantasy quest books this one hits every classic beat. It’s predictable and you can count on it to stay on the path. For adult readers this can be frustrating and make for a slow and tedious read, but I’m certain a younger reader will eat this up. It’s whimsical and told in a very removed style that reminded me a little bit of Lord of the Rings (but very simplified of course). The characters, while cleverly created and unique in style don’t give us much as far as emotional weight but the story moves fast enough that it probably isn’t necessary in the right audience’s hands.
The world is just a vehicle and the magic is plentiful but not explained out or complicated in any way – so ultimately this one is a simple moral quest story. To talk about it too much would spoil it in fact. I can’t say I recommend this for adult readers like myself who enjoy middle grade and younger, but I would say this could be a great jumping in point for young readers who enjoy fantasy and want a new read. So for your young kids – this is a great pick up.
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