Notes From A Romantic’s Heart is pleased to welcome author Stephen James Moore to the blog. We’ll be taking a look at his new book, T. Ball and the Rise of the Worldspinners, including my review. All the stops on this tour can be found at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a gift card. The entry form is at the end of this post.
GENRE: Middle Grade / Young Adult Fiction
The Stage Is Set
"What's up, dude? Name's Hector," said the offbeat rabbit, his long ears stuffed in a bulging cap.
"I am Tobias Oakwood Ball," replied the young hedgehog, puffing out his spines.
Newfound friends and future companions, T. Ball and Hector are destined to join the humans, four and two-legged ones, winged ones and the fairy folk who must unite in a titanic struggle of good vs. evil. A malevolent entity has come to the woodlander village of Two Trees, dispatched from the realms of the Worldspinners with a mission to bring darkness to all the worlds.
It is a plan that has been centuries in the making, nothing by accident and unknowing participants in the plot had been carefully chosen. Many times through history they have tried and failed. This time they will enter through the back door by corrupting nature.
There will be a bully called Spike, an overworked wizard named The Great Toothsayer, and an annual hedgehog race that sets everything in motion. Also, there are mobster squirrel gangs called Hoarders and a tyrannical mob boss named Clough Briarthack. Then there's the Professor, a lost book, hard-working moles and others—but that's to come in the next book. The story begins now . . .
Who tricked The Great Tooth?
Why must T. Ball find his own special gift?
The Young Tooth Is Rescued
As if on cue for announcing winter’s ceremonial arrival, it snowed during the night, leaving a soft white covering. Winter would be early and stay long that year.
Two strangers dressed in simple monk habits of long brown sackcloth had waited silently in the night shadows outside the thorp. They had been there since late afternoon.
Master Shoe Bert was the taller of the two, being a badger of unknown seasons. He was learned and spiritually wise beyond comprehension by mere mortals. At his side stood his docent, a young mouse called Herb Aceous. Always the devoted young student, he had not yet earned the full title of Bert.
Legend has it, the Bert lineage was founded by a mouse who came across the waters from the east, named Ali Bert the Wise. Known as the All Seer, he was responsible for bringing light during the darkest ages for all the animals. More likely, the actual founder of the Berts was a rat, possibly female, known in some enlightened history books as Eli Bert and honoured to this day by many small ancient sects who trace their roots back to the beginning times. Due to the politics surrounding rats, it is probable that the Bert origin story was changed to venerate the founder as a mouse, and a male one, at that. Recognising a female rat as the Bert founder would have been unacceptable in those dark ages of fear, superstition, and prejudice.
As the two wise ones stood untiring, both knew the tragedy that would soon befall those around the Great Green Emerald Lake. Several moons ago they had glimpsed tonight’s events in the bubbling waters of the Looking Bowl, inside Master Shoe Bert’s cave. Their meditations and scrying powers had well-prepared them for what they needed to do. They saw the Fairy Folk put on their magnificent display, observed the evening’s festivities, and watched the woodlanders contentedly file back to their homes. The master and his student would remain concealed in the shadows, witnesses to the atrocities destined to be perpetrated upon the woodlanders. They were both mortified, as they could see future events unfolding before their eyes but could do nothing to stop them. Much was at stake and fate must play out. Some things can be changed, others cannot. They continued to monitor the situation until the moment was almost upon them. Wrapping woolen scarves around their snouts, they waited with grim anticipation for the silent horror that was about to arrive.
I really enjoyed the juxtaposition of good versus evil in this book, the way it dealt with issues of bullying, and conflict resolution. I admit, I was a bit underwhelmed when trying to reconcile the books description with the actual story itself. An expectation was set, but not fully met. That's not to say what was there wasn't entertaining, because for the most part it was.
I few of the conflicts seemed a bit over the top, and there were areas of rambling that could have been handled more efficiently. However, bottom line, the lessons taught and learned were valuable. I'm not certain a lower middle-grader would appreciate what the book has to offer, but older grades will likely get the play on words and entertainment value of the book. While I probably wouldn't let my 12 year-old grandchild read it, I would certainly recommend to the older teens.
U.K Born Stephen Moore is a writer and accomplished Martial Artist. Lover of literature and ancient history. T. Ball was given in a dream and now his world is alive thanks to the T. Ball book series which covers human, animal and the unseen worlds showing victory through adversity and an incredible adventure through darkness and light. Stephen has also published The Christmas Adventure which shares T. Ball's world reminding us of the seasonal message.
Stephen James Moore will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Thank you for stopping by. Please come back tomorrow for another author, book, and giveaway. Notes From a Romantic's Heart will be on a short va-ca from Wednesday, October 13th through Thursday, October 21st, but will be back again on October 22nd with more great guests.
Stay healthy, happy, and well read.