Review Halitor the Hero
Sixteen-year-old Halitor was supposed to be on his way to becoming a Hero, according to the very-important manual, The Hero’s Guide to Battles, Rescues, and the Slaying of Monsters. But he is such a mistake-prone and girl-shy klutz that his master sacks him at a most inconvenient time, leaving poor Halitor stuck as the kitchen help at an inn in the middle of nowhere. There, he meets the determined and NOT-shy Melly, the kitchen maid, who demands that he teach her what he knows about sword fighting and Hero-ing so she can escape. So begins an adventure that stumbles across giants, bandits, dragons, and a battle to save a kingdom.
I had the opportunity to review an advance e-copy of Halitor the Hero, a fun, quick read, great for ages 8 to 11. The pace was good, the characters had great interaction—often humorously. While I felt sorry for Halitor most of the time, I couldn’t help laughing at the well-played humor brought out by his mishaps. There is enough misfortunate adventure to make Don Quixote proud. The characters felt much younger than their ages, so, even though we’re following fifteen and sixteen year olds, the story is suitable for a middle-grade audience.
There are a couple of nondescript references to concern about physical situations—which make adults think rape—and which I felt wasn’t fit for the intended young audience (thus a 4 stars instead 5 stars), but there is nothing graphic or even explained, and most readers will probably pass it over without remotely getting the significance.
As a fun, traditional fantasy adventure, Halitor the Hero sits perfectly alongside books like The Hobbit, The Horse and His Boy, and Igraine the Brave, and can be enjoyed by both boy and girl readers.