Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Review - Tethers by Jack Croxall

Tethers (The Tethers Trilogy, book #1)
By Jack Croxall
Published 2013
257 Pages

In a small, Victorian era English village called Shraye, Esther Emerson and Karl Scheffer have limited opportunities for adventure and even fewer opportunities to explore the world beyond the confines of the only village they have ever known. 

Karl’s best chance for a successful future appears to rest in the promise of a teaching apprenticeship. Karl’s mother is excited about the possibility of Karl becoming a teacher, and expects Karl to share in her enthusiasm; however, Karl is less than enthused. And for an adolescent girl, Esther’s opportunities are fewer still. 

The daughter of a local pub owner, Esther accepts that one day she will be expected to work in the family owned pub. Still, she is far from pleased with the prospect. And so, when Karl sneaks into the garden of an old, reclusive villager and spies a most unusual object, a series of events unfold, leading Karl and Esther away from Shraye and on an unexpected journey of magic, mystery, and discovery.

An anonymous notebook, inscribed with strange markings and messages, guides Karl and Esther to the discovery of an unusual object with otherworldly powers, offering glimpses into the future and warnings of dangers that lie ahead. They meet Mr. Cauldwell, described by Karl as having a “proud and mutton-chopped face” and others as they engage in gun battles and sword fights, confronting hidden dangers at every turn. 

As their journey continues over land and sea, and as Karl begins to put the pieces together, he witnesses a young girl in distress, clearly in danger, and in need of assistance. More questions arise than are answered, as time and space are altered by the very choices and actions both Karl and Esther are making along the way … choices that have far reaching implications for all those involved. 

But how much can be altered, and which events are so tightly tethered in time that they are inalterable? These are just some of the questions Karl and Esther must face on their journey in this magical, coming of age tale of adventure and self-discovery.

Tethers, the first installment in a trilogy, is a fun read, and a cleverly crafted tale. Much thought has been given to the development of the book’s characters—fun, spirited individuals, with strengths and quirks that make them believable and memorable. A great book! I look forward to the next installment.

Reviewed by Stephanie

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