Cheryl Carpinello’s Book Blog Tour 2013
The King’s Ransom
by Cheryl Carpinello
Jodi Carpinello, illustrator
Back Cover: In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith’s apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jeweled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Ma is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three will have to disclose the biggest secret of all.
Opening: Gavin bounded down the keep stairs, eager to discover the cause of the cacophony echoing through the tower. The snorting and whinnying of horses competed with the voices of knights calling to each other across the courtyard. He stuffed his green tunic into his black breeches as he ran.
THIS IS AN EDITED VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL REVIEW FROM JANUARY 2013
The following review was written on January 29, 2013. There is little, if any, that can be improved upon. I have taken out some redundancy and hope the need to edit is due to my own improvement since January. Ms. Carpinello has improved her skills since she first wrote this medieval coming of age tale. The King’s Ransom has gone through additional editing, making this a tighter story, but the tale is the same wonderful tale first reviewed so many months ago. That is the nice thing about Indie publishing: revised editions can hit the shelves much quicker than traditionally published tomes. When you read this review, remember The King’s Ransom is now a better book, mechanically, than in early 2013.
Prince Gavin, Philip, and Bryan all have a secret that could hinder their quest to save Wild Man. Each hope this journey will release the pain of their secret. It is difficult to give a complete synopsis without giving away what makes this story special. The boys each come from different social status in a society steeped in castes, yet because of King Wallace’s ruling style, no one questions the relationships. King Wallace rules with grace and compassion, tempered with a sense of fairness. The kingdom is happy and productive.
King Edward’s kingdom is just the opposite. Edward wants to rule wants to rule over as much land as he can, only stopping his power grab because of King Arthur, who many believe is the true ruler of Britain. It is conceivable that King Edward would want the King’s Ransom, and the power that comes with it, but would Wild Man conspire with this ruler? During their quest, the boys find out information that makes them question Wild Man’s innocence, yet they honor their vow to help their friend. In addition to loyalty, these three boys exhibit courage, cope with change, and show tolerance with each other and toward others.
The King’s Ransom has more layers than an onion and Ms. Carpinello does an expert job peeling them back to revealing twists and turns, complete surprises, and a completely satisfying read. Because the story is a mere 76 pages—eighteen short chapters—the action remains fast-paced. Just as things slow down, allowing you to catch your breath, something happens to take it away. Each chapter flows seamlessly into the next.
Ms. Carpinello has constructed a tale with every element today’s kids like, yet make them feel fresh and new. She has mastered medieval times and the legend of King Arthur, researching every detail. Readers will have no choice but to learn many new details of medieval life. With secret passages, villains, unexpected surprises, twists with big reveals, fast paced storytelling, and characters worth our time and loyalty, Ms. Carpinello’s King’s Ransom is an excellent tale of medieval times and King Arthur and his court. The story will entertain her target middle grade audience, younger advanced readers, and older readers who love masterfully written stories. The King’s Ransom is an adventure that will entertain even reluctant readers, especially boys.
**A teacher’s guide is available, deftly written by Ms. Carpinello, the teacher. The guide is filled to the brink with enough material for an in-depth study of The King’s Ransom and the legend of King Arthur and his court. Ms. Carpinello has included comprehension questions broken down by chapters; discussion questions; project ideas; a word search puzzle, references, and a longer synopsis of The King’s Ransom.
Jodi Carpinello, illustrator website blog facebook twitter
Released May 26, 2012
Ages 8 – 12
© 2013 by Cheryl Carpinello, used with permission
Text copyright © 2012 by Cheryl Carpinello
Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Jodi Carpinello
MuseItYoung is an imprint of MuseItUp Publishing
Cheryl Carpinello’s Book Blog Tour 2013
The King’s Ransom–Tour Schedule