Curse of the Spider King by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper

The Spider King launches a surprise attack against the Elves on the eve of a celebration for the seven lord’s newborns. The lords are slaughtered in the attack and the children are taken but some Elves manage to escape, preventing the Elves from being brought to extinction. The children are dropped on earth with the hopes that they die, but instead they are adopted. On their thirteenth birthday, just as their special abilities begin to develop, the Elves find the children and bring them back in the hopes of defeating the Spider King once and for all.

Book One in this series has one major downfall: too many characters. In addition to the seven children, there are also the elves who find each child, their parents, a few additional children, and a few enemies. It is nearly impossible to keep track of everyone and you really don’t get to know the main characters.

I also wasn’t the biggest fan of a book in a book approach. The past of the story felt too drawn out, leaving less room for the actual story. I would have preferred putting the story first and having it shorter.

Besides these two problems, it is still a good story. It moved quickly and was interesting. I enjoyed reading it and was excited to see the next book. In a way, it felt like an elaborate set up book, where you had the feeling that what was coming next would be even better than what had already come.

One thing I definitely appreciated was clarity of the action scenes. Not all books can pull it off but this book managed it quite well and those scenes really pulled up the book–making me wish for even more.

All in all, though perhaps not the best children’s book I’ve ever read, it was certainly enjoyable.

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