Hi, today I am excited to share my review for this fantastic middle grade book. Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours, along with the publisher and author. The entire tour is happening now, and you can click here to see all the cool stops.
The Accidental Apprentice (Wilderlore #1) by Amanda Foody
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publishing Date: March 30, 2021
A boy who accidentally bonds with a magical Beast must set off on an adventure in the mysterious Woods in this whimsical and cheeky middle grade fantasy debut—perfect for fans of Nevermoor and How to Train Your Dragon.
The last thing Barclay Thorne ever wanted was an adventure.
Thankfully, as an apprentice to the town’s mushroom farmer, Barclay need only work hard and follow the rules to one day become the head mushroom farmer himself. No danger required. But then Barclay accidentally breaks his town’s most sacred rule: never ever EVER stray into the Woods, for within the Woods lurk vicious magical Beasts.
To Barclay’s horror, he faces a fate far worse than being eaten: he unwittingly bonds with a Beast and is run out of town by an angry mob. Determined to break this bond and return home, Barclay journeys to find the mysterious town of Lore Keepers, people who have also bonded with Beasts and share their powers.
But after making new friends, entering a dangerous apprenticeship exam, and even facing the legendary Beast of the Woods, Barclay must make a difficult choice: return to the home and rules he’s always known, or embrace the adventure awaiting him.
I am still new to middle grade, but this book is very fun. I was able to finish it in one day, and it was a great read.
Barclay lives a normal life in a town where he is an orphan. He lost his parents to a monster who destroyed the town, and he just wants to live a simple life. He knows to stay out of the forest nearby until one day, he sees a Lore Keeper trying to catch a Beast. But the Beast bonds to Barclay. After an incident, he leaves his town and is off on his adventure.
I loved the world building in this book. To learn about the Beasts and systems of Lore Keepers was very interesting. I also liked seeing how they were testing to see who was the best, and how Barclay was working to bond with his own Beast eventually. I felt like I was right there during the adventure, and I am eager for more in the future.
The characters are great too. Barclay grows as the book goes on, and I like Viola a lot. It is amazing to see a BIPOC female character who is smart and strong. We need more of these in books. Their friendship is awesome, and I cannot wait to see it grow more.
This is a wonderful middle grade fantasy. I would definitely pick up the next in the series. Not to mention, this is perfect for grades 4 to 8 for fantasy lovers and even reluctant readers. I cannot reccommend this enough as a future children’s librarian.
About the Author:
Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After a double life as an accountant preparing taxes for multinational corporations, she now spends her free time brewing and fermenting foods much more easily obtained at her local grocery store. She lives in Boston, MA with a hoard of books guarded by the most vicious of feline companions, Jelly Bean.
Her books include The Shadow Game seriesand more. Her middle grade debut, Wilderlore: The Accidental Apprentice, hits shelves March 30, 2021, and her next YA novel, All of Us Villains, co-authored with Christine Lynn Herman, releases on November 9, 2021.