Monday 4 March 2013
Review: Emily Knight I Am by A. Bello
Thirteen year old Emily Knight is the daughter of a famous warrior, Thomas Knight, in an alternate version of Britain where warriors have magical powers and fight against the forces of the evil Neci. At the beginning of the book, Emily's rebellious older brother, Lox, is struggling with the pressure to live up to his famous father and ambivalent about Thomas's motivation in encouraging him to become a warrior too. Lox decides to run away, and is met by a mysterious figure.
With her mother dead, and Thomas off hunting for Lox, Emily is also rebelling, getting into trouble for shop lifting, while living with a foster family. Then her family decide to send her off to warrior school, where she can better learn to control her powers and channel them for the good. However, a mysterious figure is also hanging around the school. Who is the mysterious figure? Can Emily learn to control her powers? And can she stop herself from fighting mean girl Tanya?
This is a fun read for children 9+ from a very young author- A. Bello is only 24, and she wrote the original version of this book when she was only 12! If the book is reminiscent of Harry Potter- a magical school with teleporting teachers, a magical game that is a cross between tag wrestling and dodgeball with fire, an evil force wanting to destroy the school- then it is, but then Harry Potter is reminiscent of many other classic children's books. It's great to read a fantasy novel with multicultural characters, and I'm glad to see that A. Bello is writing a sequel. However, I did find some typographical errors and some inconsistencies, and I would hope that good editing would eliminate these in future editions.
I am grateful to the author for sending me a review copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.