Title: The Golden Maple Tree
Series: Magora, #2
Author: Marc Remus
Genre: Middle Grade, Children’s, Fantasy
Story Perspective: Third-Person Omniscient
Themes: Family, Friendship, Trust, Forgiveness, Kindness
Publication Date: January 14, 2016
Publisher: Misty Moon Books / Marc Remus
This book was given for free, courtesy by NetGalley and
Misty Moon Books.
Holly, Amanda, Rufus, and Brian are back for another adventure in the magical world of Cliffony Academy of Arts. Though normally an exciting and happy time, Holly’s devastated to learn that her close friend, Ileana, is severely ill.
The only way to help her is to find the Golden Maple Tree and bring a leaf from there to her. However, it is a tree that not many know about. Add that with the menacing Cuspidor and a hidden monastery, will Holly and her friends be able to save Ileana while keeping themselves safe?
This is another NetGalley backlog book that I apparently started and never finished. I had a bit of a tough time getting into the first in the series, which prevented me from enjoying the subsequent book at the time. However, because I am making an effort to read all of my NetGalley books that authors and publishers have generously given e-copies to me, I was determined to read this one as well.
The main children in the story, Holly, Amanda, Rufus, and Brian, were all fairly likable and easy to keep track of. Holly, being the protagonist was given more of a backstory and more time on the pages. Though I did like all these children, I did wish to learn a little bit more of their personalities. Holly and Amanda had some distinct characteristics, but sometimes I found Rufus’s and Brian’s personalities somewhat blurred.
When looking at the plot itself, there wasn’t ever a dull moment. Most times, the pages flew by as the reader followed these children in their fantasy/paint-oriented world of Magora. I did, however, remembered the main the reason why I had a tough time with the first in the series – the resemblance to Harry Potter. I am sure that not everyone would be as nit-picky as I am with this, but Harry Potter is the reason why I love reading, and I’ve read it multiple times throughout the years. Therefore, it’s very challenging to not keep this in mind when reading the first two books in the Magora series. Perhaps it’s the nature of gathering school-aged children in a fantasy-type school away from home, but nonetheless the similarities was something that bothered me.
As the above is a preference, I find that this is a read that many youngsters would enjoy. The theme of friendship is very strong as Holly is willing to sacrifice her well-being and safety to help her friend who is literally fading and may not be able to recover.
Overall, The Golden Maple Tree was a quick read, one that was easy to follow, and I’m sure many children will enjoy.
I would recommend this book to youngsters who enjoy reading chapter books that follow a group of children in a magical world.