REVIEW: The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet

FullSizeRender (6)Award-winning YA author Philip Murdstone is in trouble. His books about sensitive young boys are just not selling so well and his agent Minerva Cinch has the most ridiculous idea to get him back on track- write an epic high-fantasy novel. Philip hates fantasy and has no idea what to do, that is until a creature by the name of Pocket who shouldn’t exist in Philip’s world appears in his life. Now Philip might have an idea for a book, but is he aware of the consequences?

The Murdstone Trilogy is a lot of fun. It does make fun of the high fantasy genre but in such a light-hearted way that you can’t be mad at it. Plus what is says about the genre and all its tropes is true! I’m pretty sure it kind of alludes to the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini as well, a series I love by the way, but it does so in a good-natured way.

There’s kind of two stories going along at once. There’s Philip’s struggle to write and his interactions with his agent and the people in the local village (who are all a little odd) and the story Pocket tells in a fantasy world full of magic and creatures. Philip’s story is fun as it captures his desperation to write but how he is also so ill-equipped to write fantasy, plus Minerva is such a fun character who is a real battleaxe and it’s fun seeing her deal with Philip’s eccentricities.

The Murdstone Trilogy is pretty clever as you’re not always sure if the story Pocket is telling is really happening in a far off land or another universe or if it’s all happening in Philip’s head and he’s going a bit mad. Pocket’s story is full of action, magic, big forces of evil and a lost Prince struggling to save the kingdom. It is in a way paint-by-numbers fantasy but it’s aware of that and Pocket’s story is still gripping.

The Murdstone Trilogy is unlike any book I’ve read before. It’s laugh-out-loud funny and weird and has the best elements of high fantasy but it’s told in a completely different way. 5/5.

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